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Kuala Lumpur: Title holder Lam Chih Bing of Singapore will headline a stellar cast of Asian Tour stars at the Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational 2010 next week.
Lam, who is a winner on the Asian Tour, will be on defence mode as he seeks a repeat at the RM500,000 (approximately US$156,000) tournament which is the first Malaysian event to join the newly launched Asian Development Tour.
Former Negeri Sembilan Masters champions – Filipino duo Juvic Pagunsan and Benjie Magada and Singaporean veteran M. Murugiah – and Australian Gavin Flint, winner of the inaugural Asian Development Tour event in Myanmar, will also converge at the Seremban International Golf Club (SIGC) from July 15 to 18.
“We are delighted that these established players have committed to the Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational 2010. Certainly, their participation will ensure another exciting week of golf at SIGC,” said tournament director, Dato’ Haji Mohd Yaacob Mohd Kassim, who is also the captain of SIGC.
“Our championship course is in superb condition and as always will present a worthy challenge to test the players’ power, skill and mental strength to the fullest. I’m confident the last man standing will be a deserving champion after such grueling test,” he added.
Last year, Lam emerged victorious after defeating Lu Chien-soon of Chinese Taipei with a miraculous forty footer for an eagle on the fourth play-off hole and he is tipped to sparkle again in Seremban, which is located about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur.
Lam has so far enjoyed a strong first half of the Asian Tour season, highlighted by two top-10s and he has missed only one cut in seven tournaments. He is confident of retaining his title in Seremban.
“I have been working hard with my coach and everything is slowly coming together. I always have one bad round in a tournament and that’s been stopping me from doing better. I need to overcome that,” said Lam, winner of the Volvo Masters of Asia in 2008.
The sweet-swinging Pagunsan, who triumphed in the Negeri Sembilan Masters in 2007, is enjoying a rich vein of form and could well pose a serious threat to Lam. He won a Thai event in Phuket and also finished third at the Asian Tour’s Queen’s Cup in Koh Samui, Thailand last month.
The Filipino credited changes to his golf swing for his impressive run and is looking forward to carrying his top form to Seremban. “I changed my swing three months ago where I got it a little bit flatter on the back swing. I’m hitting it straighter now with my driver. It is giving me more accuracy,” said Pagunsan, who holds one victory on the Asian Tour.
Akhmal Tarmizee Mohd Nazari, currently tied second on the Asian Development Tour’s Order of Merit, will be amongst the local challengers in this year’s edition of the Negeri Sembilan Masters which is the second stop of the inaugural Schedule. Other top names will be announced in due course.
The top three players on the Order of Merit will gain playing status on the Asian Tour in the following year. Further legs are being finalized in Chinese Taipei and Indonesia.

Asian Tour

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