Photo - Asian Tour
Mohd Shaaban Hussin Wins CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia – National Qualifier To Qualify As First Player at Malaysia’s First PGA TOUR Sanctioned Event
A grueling three-day battle culminated in a sparkling performance by Mohd Shaaban Hussin as he won the inaugural CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia - National Qualifier at the Mines Resort & Golf Club today. Mohd Shaaban Hussin, who was pulled into a sudden-death playoff alongside crowd favorite Danny Chia, triumphed at the last minute to take the coveted spot from a field of over 100 Malaysian professionals.
The 30-year old missed his chance at a birdie on his last hole but regained the birdie in a 30-foot putt to become the first confirmed player for the region’s most anticipated golf tournament of the year – the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia. He also walked away with a prize purse of RM22,000 for his efforts.
Mohd Shaaban Hussin, who placed second on both the first and second days of play, raised his game on the final day to ensure a win against a pool of experienced players. He carded, 67, 68 and 69 for a total score of nine-under-par or 204 over three days.
“This is a milestone in local golf history as we see a Malaysian becoming the first confirmed participant in the region’s first PGA TOUR sanctioned event. It marks the beginning of a new cycle in the development of golf as a leisure activity and as a professional sport here and around the region,” said Encik Firuz Jaffril, Acting President of the Professional Golf Association of Malaysia (PGAM).
The first tournament sanctioned by the PGA TOUR in Southeast Asia, the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia, will be held from 28 to 31 October 2010 at The Mines Resort & Golf Club. The tournament is co-sanctioned by the PGA TOUR, Asian Tour and the PGAM. In its inaugural year, the tournament will feature an international field of 40 players competing for a USD 6 million prize purse, with the winner taking home a prize purse of USD1 million.
“In a playoff everyone has a chance and the only thing you can do, is try not to make any mistakes. I will try to do my best in preparation before the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia. With that (prize) money I have promised my mum that I would take her to Umrah,” an elated Mohd Shaaban Hussin said as Tan Sri Dato’ Md Nor Yusof, Chairman of CIMB Group, handed him the prize cheque of RM22,000 and confirmation of his spot in the upcoming PGA TOUR sanctioned tournament.
The tournament was one full of surprises as second-round leader; M. Sasidaran fell behind following a misstep early in the third day. Despite finishing with a strong showing of gross 68, 66 and 67 he was unable to retake the lead in time for the finish.
“I hit the ball so well today but I just couldn’t hit the ball to make the putt. I made just one birdie and one bogey. I had a birdie chance on the last hole but my putt wasn’t long enough,” said M. Sasidaran who finished with a nine-under-par of 204.
The 34-year old, M. Sasidaran, placed joint third with Iain Steel who carded 65, 72, and 68 for an accumulated three-day total of eight-under-par of 205.
He wasn’t the only one disappointed as Danny Chia – a firm favorite – fell behind with one stroke during the sudden death playoff against winner, Mohd Shaaban Hussin, to card 68, 70 and 66 for a three day total of 204.
“I was really disappointed with my putting. It’s just the wrong place to be. If it doesn’t happen for me, I can’t do anything about it. Everything went according to my plan at the beginning but it went downhill from there,” said Danny Chia, who remained hopeful and optimistic despite his placing.
In addition to the results of the National Qualifier, the third round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia – National Qualifier saw another high note, in the form of Nicholas Pua. Despite the 29-year old’s three-day total of ten-over-par of 223, he carded an “ace” at the 7th hole, scoring the sole hole-in-one seen throughout the three day CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia – National Qualifier.
“It has always been part of the Ministry’s long-term initiative to cultivate and nurture golf as a sport in Malaysia. We want to see more – many more - Malaysian players representing Malaysia around the world as they play and even win tournaments like the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia,” said Dato’ Ahmad Shabery Cheek who was onsite during the tournament.
The CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia – National Qualifier is sanctioned by the Professional Golf Association of Malaysia (PGAM). This closed 54-hole tournament saw 100 professional golfers under the PGAM compete over a three-day period at the Mines Resort & Golf Club. A cut ensured after 36 holes of play with 60 players plus ties competing in the final round. The tournament saw top Malaysian professional golfers competing for a RM150,000 prize purse with the winner taking RM22,000 plus a spot at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in October.
The top 25 available players from the PGA TOUR’s final FedExCup standings will qualify for the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia. They will be joined by the Top 10 players from the current Asian Tour Order of Merit and five players under sponsor exemptions to complete one of the strongest playing fields in Asia’s golf circuit.