Arie Eyes Breakthrough

Fri 25 Jan 2013

Arie Eyes Breakthrough

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Hua Hin, Thailand, January 25: Malaysia’s Arie Fauzi is planning to break out of the amateur ranks after he edged closer to securing his Tour card by carding a two-under-par 69 at the third round of the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand on Friday.
The 22-year-old, who recently graduated from the University of Tulsa on a golf scholarship, put together a three-day total of seven-under-par 207 and is in tied-18th place at the Springfield Royal Country Club.
“I actually came here with the intention of finishing inside the top-20 although I know the goal is top-40. If I set the benchmark higher, I know a top-40 finish will just take care of itself,” said Arie.
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“The next event after Qualifying School would be in Myanmar next month. There’s still time to consider and there’s a very high chance that I’ll turn pro. But I’ll have to discuss with my family first,” added the Malaysian.
The young Malaysian has been harbouring thoughts of turning professional, having enjoyed a chequered amateur career which has been highlighted by his win at the Malaysian Amateur Stroke Play Championship in 2008.
“The Asian Tour Qualifying School is a benchmark to see where I am with the pros and so far it has been good,” added Arie.
Having honed his skills in the United States, Arie counts himself as the next generation of golfers to lead golf in Malaysia to greater heights.
“I played four years of college golf at the University of Tulsa and just graduated last month in December. Playing college golf really got me mentally stronger as it was a tough transition, having to play under all-weather conditions in the US,” said Arie.
“I believe I can step up and spearhead Malaysia’s challenge. There are others like Gavin (Kyle Green) who has done well at the Iskandar Johor Open. Gavin and I share a friendly rivalry. Malaysia golf is going in the right direction and I’m willing to do more for Malaysia,” added Arie.
After steering his country into the World Cup in 2009, Pakistan’s Muhammad Munir is now hoping for another achievement by earning his Asian Tour card.
Munir posted rounds of 72, 69 and 66 to end the day in equal 18 alongside six other players that include Arie.
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“It was a good feeling, having Pakistan represented at the World Cup then. For now, I just want to concentrate on doing my best and see what happens,” added the Pakistani.
While golf may not command the same kind of attention as popular sports like cricket or hockey in Pakistan, Muhammad is hoping to be among the pioneers to turn the spotlight on the sport by performing well on the Asian Tour.
“There’re not many golf courses in Pakistan and also not many big sponsors stepping up to support the sport. God willing, I hope to attract more sponsorship by playing well on the Asian Tour.
Despite signing for a 70 where he is just one shot back from the top-40 and ties, Indonesia’s Rory Hie remained upbeat of his chances of securing his Tour card.
“I feel like I’ve had two different rounds this morning. The front nine was really good but the back nine was very bad. Overall I shot a one-under so if I can play well tomorrow, I should be able to make it into the top-40,” said Hie.
Hie was once ranked the sixth best-amateur in the world before he turned professional in 2008.
One of the events that Hie is looking forward to play on the Asian Tour this year is the Indonesian Open, which will return to the Tour’s 2013 schedule.
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“I finished tied-second two years ago and was tied-ninth last year. Hopefully I can play well again this year. I hope to get my rankings up and play in co-sanctioned events if I can get my card this week,” said Hie.
Players who play in the Qualifying School are also eligible to play in the Asian Development Tour (ADT) which will be afforded with Official World Golf Ranking points starting this season.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.