Photo - Asian Tour
SIVA AIMS FOR SUCCESS AT WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS SELANGOR MASTERS
Petaling Jaya: Malaysia’s S. Sivachandran will shoot for a rare double at the Asian Tour’s RM1.2 million (US$300,000) Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters next week.
Three weeks after notching a commanding 12-stroke victory at the Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational which was part of the Asian Development Tour, the slightly built Sivachandran has now set his sights even higher.
He believes his chances of glory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters is good as the popular event will be played on his home course, the Seri Selangor Golf Club from August 4-7 (Wednesday to Saturday).
“I have been training at Seri Selangor for more than three years now. Hopefully I can make use of my local knowledge and have a good week there,” said Sivachandran.
Siva, as he is fondly known amongst his friends, will also be keen to redeem himself at the demanding par-71 Seri Selangor course, which fairways are tree-lined and guarded by slick greens.
Last year, the 31-year-old was in contention as he entered the final round two shots behind the leader but he closed with a disappointing 77 to finish tied 17th. He needs to be at his best as the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters has attracted a strong field led by India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thaworn Wiratchant, American Jason Knutzon and Malaysia’s Ben Leong, champion in 2008, and Danny Chia, the first Malaysian to play all four rounds at the British Open two weeks ago.
“My victory in the Negeri Sembilan Masters gave a huge boost to my confidence. However, the golf courses are entirely different. At Seri Selangor, driving will be the key to a good score. You have to shape your drives and if you can control your drives, you can do well,” he said.
“I had three good rounds last year but on the final day, I put too much pressure on myself. That was my mistake but now I have more experience of playing in the final group. I started the season quite slowly but I’m feeling that I’m getting into my best form,” he said.
Likewise, compatriot and close friend Mohd Shaaban Hussin is also hoping to kick-start his Asian Tour campaign on home turf after a lackluster front half of the season.
“I’ve been struggling a bit but I feel that I’m coming back to my best form. At the start of the season, I was applying too much pressure on myself to perform,” said the 30-year-old, who grabbed the 65th and final Asian Tour card last season.
“My goal is obviously to win or even have a good finish at Seri Selangor. It’s my home course and I will take this opportunity to do my best.”
The signs have been fairly encouraging for Shaaban of late. He made the halfway cut in the Queen’s Cup in Thailand in June and then won the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia – National Qualifier to earn a place in the US$6 million event, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and US PGA Tour, later in October.
“After the Queen’s Cup, I started to believe more in my abilities. That eased the pressure and I’m looking forward to playing at the Selangor Masters. Winning the CIMB Qualifier also helped a lot. It felt like I now have a new battery in me now!
“It is always the case for most golfers who after winning, they get the much needed confidence. I hope to win as I have put in a lot of hard work,” said Shaaban.