Fighting Fung is a cut above in home Open

Fri 18 Apr 2014

Fighting Fung is a cut above in home Open

  • SHARE
Kuala Lumpur, April 18: EurAsia Cup star Nicholas Fung let out a sigh of relief after making the halfway cut for the first time in his burgeoning career at the Maybank Malaysian Open on Friday.
The 23-year-old Malaysian battled to a one-under-par 71 in the second round for a one-under-par 143 total which left him in a share of 37th place in the US$2.75 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Fung is one of three local golfers who survived the cut, which was set at 145, with amateur prospect Gavin Green and Khor Kheng Hwai making it through with a stroke to spare out of the 22 Malaysians who started the week at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
“I’m happy as this is the first time I’m making the cut. It means a lot as not many Malaysians have made it. At least we’ll have three in the weekend,” said Fung, Malaysia’s top-ranked golfer.
“Before I teed off, I looked at the scores and it looked like it was +1 or even (to make the cut). I was nervous starting out. I pulled my opening drive and then kept pulling all my shorts until the 10th hole before I stabled myself. I told myself to not worry since I’ve already missed it six times!
“I had no expectations and I just wanted to have fun. I managed to get one birdie on 16 which was good as I missed a few short putts,” he added.
With a small band of supporters following his match, Fung said it was a thrill to earn a pat on the back from his father, who said “well done son” after he tapped home his final par of the day.
Gavin Green of Malaysia Gavin Green of Malaysia
“I will try my best in the next two rounds. All my supporters came down to support me and to see me make my first cut here, my dad is so happy,” said the Sabahan, who grew up learning the game by following his businessman father onto the golf course when he was five.
“Putting is a bit of a problem, the line-reading hasn’t been good. Maybe I’ll call my coach to ask him for some advice before I tee off tomorrow.“
After topping the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit last season following one win and three runner-up finishes, Fung’s career has taken off and he earned plenty of admiration at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM last month where he was a captain’s pick.
He lost all three matches with fighting displays, and went down to European captain Miguel Angel Jimenez in the singles on the last hole when the veteran Spaniard birdied the hole for a 1-Up victory.
“I can say the EurAsia Cup experience has helped. I can calm down more easily now. I have more experience and after a bad shot, it doesn’t mean I’m playing bad. I have been able to recover better and I did it today. I got up and down a lot,” he said.
Green, the best Malaysian finisher at the event last year, produced a fine 70 for a 144 total. Like Fung, he also needed to overcome butterflies in the stomach to qualify for the weekend rounds.
“I was really nervous on the back nine. I played good on the first nine,” said the college student, who brilliantly turned in 31 following three birdies and one eagle.
“The game was going good. (Then) I kept trying too hard and overthinking on the back nine. Thankfully I did enough to make the cut.  I was thinking too much about my swing than hitting the shot. There’s a little bit of pressure because I want to make the cut and improve on what I finished last year (tied 22nd).
“Since I have made it now, I’m going all out. I’ll stick to my game plan and be a little bit more aggressive. I’m definitely going to the driving range to try and fix my swing.”
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,200 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.
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 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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) 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.
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 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), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).