Chia raises local hopes with 67

Thu 05 Feb 2015

Chia raises local hopes with 67

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Kuala Lumpur, February 5: Danny Chia rode a hot putter for a barnstorming back nine en route to a five-under-par 67 to trail first round leaders Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell by one stroke in the first round of the Maybank Malaysian Open on Thursday.
The 42-year-old Chia, Malaysia’s first winner on the Asian Tour, nailed four straight birdies from the second hole at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course as he raised hopes for a first local winner to emerge since the event’s inauguration in 1962.
Countrymen Mohd Iylia Jamil produced a solid 70 in the US$3 million championship sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour to lie further back in tied 16th place while Nicholas Fung battled to a 71. Amateur brothers Galvin and Galven Green shot 74 and 76 respectively.
Nicholas Fung of Malaysia Nicholas Fung of Malaysia
Chia’s superb start was reminiscent of his title charge in the 2008 and 2009 editions where he held the halfway lead before fading in the weekend rounds. But with experience on his side, the 2002 Taiwan Open champion is determined to stay on an even keel as he chases Ryder Cup stars Westwood, the defending champion, and McDowell.
“I’m just trying to take it one shot at a time and focus on the present. Whatever comes my way tomorrow, I’ll just take up the challenge,” he said. “Fairways and greens and try to make birdies ... try to make it simple. I guess this has come from experience.”
Starting from the 10th hole, Chia turned in 36 with two birdies against as many dropped shots before an eight foot birdie on two saw his game catch fire.
“The putter got hot and I started making some putts and started to hit better. Maybe the nerves got to me a bit (on the front nine). I got agitated with the way I was hitting the ball but after I made birdie on my 11th hole I started to hit it much better,” said Chia
“I think it’s just experience. I’m not as nervous as before and I think it makes a big difference. It was the mind playing tricks on me (earlier in the round). In the practice rounds, I didn’t hit it well and I was just thinking too much on the mechanics of my swing. I then just told myself to just go out and play golf,”
Young talent Fung, who made his first cut on the West course last year, was running steady on three-under before dropping two late bogeys which he attributed to mental errors.
“I made some silly mistakes on seven and eight. On seven, the pin was back left and my caddie told me to go for the middle of the green which would be an easy putt. But I went for it and pushed it so far right that I didn’t have a stance and then I had to make a 15 foot putt for bogey,” said Fung.
Everything worked well. Putted great and hit it good. Just made two mistakes. I have no pressure this week. I’ve played so many times on this course and after making the cut for the first time last year, I just told myself to out and play and hopefully make it better than last year.”
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,400 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR & People's Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States of America.  The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 47,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide. (www.maybank.com)
About the Malaysian Golf Association
The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) is the sole governing body of golf in Malaysia that was founded in 1929 by representatives of golf clubs to promote the sport while preserving its traditions and integrity. The non-government organization is run by passionate volunteers who have a love for the game of golf, with the help of a team of management staff. The association’s portfolios have increased over the years ranging from conducting 14 state amateur opens, national amateur open, national amateur close, Malaysian Open to processing handicaps through its National Handicap System to promoting grassroots programs and training of athletes to represent Malaysia in international events.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour's innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2013, will feature a minimum of 45 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
About Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) is a member of Sime Darby Property Bhd and a propriety Club wholly-owned and operated by KLGCC Berhad. The club has won numerous accolades from both local and foreign golfing fraternity, the latest being recognised as Number One and Two top golf courses in Malaysia for 2014 by US Golf Digest, voted the ‘Best Course in Malaysia’ for the second time in a row for its championship West Course at the 2013 Asian Golf Monthly Awards, the second runner up for the Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific and nominated as Top 10 Best in Asia Pacific for Best Clubhouse and Best Pro-Shop categories. At the same time, KLGCC was voted Best Golf Experience for the Best of Malaysia Awards 2013 Travel Awards by The Expatriate Lifestyle Magazine readers. Today, KLGCC is a landmark as the most luxurious golf resort development in Malaysia and KLGCC has in recent years hosted numerous international championships such as the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
About GlobalOne
GlobalOne (Emerald Evolution Holdings Sdn Bhd) is an executive lifestyle sports promoter and we create sports event ownerships. We specialise in providing the full spectrum in  sponsorship event management and have an excellent track record in planning and delivering on PGA European Tour golf events for Malaysia (Maybank Malaysian Open), Singapore (Singapore Masters) and Indonesia (Indonesia Open) since 1999. We have strong relations with sports governing bodies, the media and commercial sponsors and technical partners to deliver on the bottom line.  We assist all our clients to create super-strategic, high-return, best practice sponsorship to provide a strong, unified vision, across departments and stakeholders, of the broad range of marketing and business objectives that can be achieved through this sponsorship. We also form and maintain strong relationship with players’ managers to source the best players. GlobalOne currently stages a highly successful and prestigious tournament in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour providing the event with Official World Ranking status. Our long term partners include Emirates (Official Airline), Carlsberg (Official Beer & Stout), Ricoh (Official Office Equipment), Astro (Official Satellite TV), Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia (Official Car), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview Golf (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).