CIMB Classic Qualifying: Trio share lead in SKNQ

Mon 03 Aug 2015

CIMB Classic Qualifying: Trio share lead in SKNQ

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Kuala Lumpur, August 3: Danny Chia, Ben Leong and R. Nachimuthu carded one-under-par 71s to share the first round lead in the SapuraKencana National Qualifier on Monday with young talent Gavin Green lying two shots back.
With the winner earning a spot in the US$7 million CIMB Classic in October, Chia, who is an Asian Tour winner, put himself in line for a fourth appearance with three birdies against two bogeys at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
The in-form Leong, who has finished runner-up twice on the local circuit in the past two weeks, snared four birdies against three dropped shots while Nachimuthu joined them atop the leaderboard with a similar card as Chia.
Danny Chia Danny Chia
Wilson Choo returned a 72 for sole fourth place while Green, who was a world’s top-10 amateur golfer before joining the professional ranks in June, fired a 73 to lie alongside Nicholas Fung, Irfan Yusoff and Sukree Othman.
Chia, 42, was delighted with his solid start. “I was striking the ball a lot better today after taking a bit of a break recently. So I’m quite happy with the score. This is where you want to be after the first day and I’ll be trying to stay in this position,” said Chia.
“Everyone is trying to win the SapuraKencana National Qualifier as there’s a big reward that comes with it. I’ve played in the CIMB Classic on several occasions and it’s a great event to be in.”
The 29-year-old Leong, who won an Asian Tour title in 2008 before his career was curtailed by a back injury, extended his solid run of form to stay in the chase for a spot in the CIMB Classic, which is sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and Asian Tour.
“I’ve been playing solid the last two weeks, just hitting greens and making my fair share of putts. I’ve finished second twice over the last two weeks, so I just need that little bit of luck to win here. I’ve played on this course at the Malaysian Open on so many occasions but I’ve never made the halfway cut. So this is a nice chance for me to get something right.
[pullquote align="left or right"]Everyone is trying to win the SapuraKencana National Qualifier as there’s a big reward that comes with it - Danny Chia[/pullquote]“I’ll just take it one day and one shot at a time. There’s no point thinking too far ahead in this game as anything can still happen. But it’s nice to see that the work I’ve put in recently has resulted in some good form.”
Like Leong, veteran Nachimuthu is also chasing for a first appearance at the CIMB Classic.
“I’m happy. I putted really well and rolled the ball good. It’s a tough course as you’ve got to hit it straight to give yourself a chance. I’ve been trying to qualify for the CIMB Classic over the years but have never succeeded. I’ll keep trying this week,” said the 44-year-old.
Green drove the ball poorly, hitting only two fairways as he scrambled to a round of 73 but remained within touching distance of the co-leaders.
“Off the tee, it was terrible and on this course, you really need to get it on the fairways. Thankfully, my mid and short game saved me. I’ve made some changes to my swing recently and it’s coming around. I just need to keep working on it,” said Green, who recently graduated from the University of New Mexico.
“Without my ‘A’ game, I’m still close to finishing under par. I’m not going to think too much about the ticket the CIMB Classic. I’m just going to focus on my own game. The players here are good players and you need to play good golf. If I can shoot under par over the next two days, it could be good enough.”
The CIMB Classic, to be held from October 29 to November 1, will be the third event of the 2015 - 2016 FedExCup Season on the PGA TOUR. Offering full FedExCup points, the CIMB Classic will feature 78 players - 60 from the PGA TOUR, 10 from the Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions.
Out of the eight sponsor’s exemptions, CIMB Classic accords two spots for Malaysians. The second spot will be given to the highest ranked Malaysian golfer on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) as at September 30. If the winner of the SapuraKencana National Qualifier is also the leading Malaysian in the OWGR, the second spot will automatically go to the next best-ranked Malaysian on the OWGR.
Leading round one scores
71: Ben Leong , Danny Chia, R. Nachimuthu
72: Wilson Choo
73: Gavin Green, Irfan Yusoff  , Nicholas Fung, Sukree Othman
74: Anis Helmi , John Pang, Mohd Rizal Amin, S. Sivachandhran, Shaaban Hussin
About SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad
SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad (“Group”) is a leading global integrated oil and gas services and solutions provider operating across the entire upstream value. As a full-fledged upstream player, the Group’s spectrum of capabilities cover the exploration, development, production, rejuvenation, as well as decommissioning and abandonment stages of the value chain.
With a highly skilled and technically capable multinational workforce comprising over 13,000 people, strategic world-class assets, and strong project management capabilities, the Group today has a global presence in over 20 countries.
Learn more at www.sapurakencana.com
 
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 8 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 14.1 billion as at 31 March 2015 and over 41,000 employees located in 17 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
 
About PGA of Malaysia (PGAM)
The PGA of Malaysia is the umbrella body for all professional golfers in Malaysia. As the governing body, the PGA of Malaysia is the sole sanctioning authority for professional tournaments in the country. It is also tasked with the promotion and development of the game of golf at all levels and provides training, education and professional development for its members.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.
The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2014, tournaments across all Tours generated a record $140.5 million for local and national charitable organizations, after surpassing $2 billion in all-time charitable contributions early in the year.
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 Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions 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). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolfwww.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
 

If you have further queries or require more information, please contact:

Rajan Moses
Senior General Manager, Public Relations
Sapura Group
Tel: +6012 209 6326
Email: rajan.moses@sapura.com.my
Elina Baseri
Head, Corporate Communications
SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad
Tel: +603-6209 5654
Fax: +603-6209 5733
Email: elina.baseri@sapurakencana.com
EffendyShahul Hamid
Group Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
CIMB Group
Tel: +603-2261 0688
Fax: +603-2261 0601
Email: effendy.hamid@cimb.com
Josandi Thor
Managing Director
Head of Brand, Marketing and Communications
Group Marketing and Communications
CIMB Group
Tel: +603-2261 0628 / +65-6302 3885
Fax: +603-2261 0601
Email: josandi.thor@cimb.com