Wednesday January 9, 2013
Danny and Nicholas lead local charge in Sabah Masters
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian No. 1 Danny Chia and compatriot Nicholas Fung will lead a strong local challenge in the Sabah Masters, which tees off at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club in Kota Kinabalu today.
The US$75,000 tournament is the final event of the 2012-2013 season on the Asean PGA Tour.
Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and Choo Tze Huang; Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat, the defending champion, and Annop Tangkamolprasert; Filipinos Antonio Lascuna and Jay Bayron; and Indonesia’s Rory Hie will also be in action.
The golfers will be hoping to begin the year on a winning note although Danny has already enjoyed a perfect start by capturing the PGM I&P Kinrara Classic last week.
“It was great to win, especially as I had not been playing that well. I was having problems with my approach shots. I was missing a lot of greens but that has now improved.
“I have not played in Sabah for about six years. I’m looking forward to it and hope I can get a winning streak going,” said Danny, who is no stranger to success on the Asean PGA Tour.
In 2008, he showed his class by recording a wire-to-wire victory in the Mercedes-Benz Masters Thailand – which was the season-ending Tour Championship on the Asean PGA Tour.
The trophy sits nicely alongside the one he claimed in The International Championship in Jakarta in 2007. That was the very first event staged on the circuit.
Danny created history in 2010 by becoming the first Malaysian to play all four rounds at the Open Championship at St Andrews. He also played in the Open in 2005 and 2008.
It promises to be a special week for Nicholas, who was born in Kota Kinabalu and is on the threshold of winning the Asean PGA Tour Order of Merit.
He triumphed in the Palembang Musi Championship last year and leads the Merit list with earnings of US$29,933.
Annop, who is third on the Merit list, is the only player who can catch him but is US$9,523 behind. He needs to claim the US$12,918 first place cheque and hopes Nicholas has a very poor week.
Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul is second on the list but he’s not playing this week.