Local Hope Shaaban Fights for Card Survival

Wed 12 Dec 2012

Local Hope Shaaban Fights for Card Survival

Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia, December 12: Local hope Shaaban Hussin is playing at the Iskandar Johor Open against doctor’s advice as a solid result this week will earn him an Asian Tour card for next season

Shaaban injured his shoulder in October and will play through the pain barrier at the US$2 million Asian Tour season-ending event which features Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa, Sergio Garcia of Spain and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand.

Shaaban insists he will not be distracted by the starry line-up assembled at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club as he is focussed at the important task of securing full playing rights on the 2013 Asian Tour season for the second time since 2010.

He is currently in 79th position on the Order of Merit with earnings of US$30,755 courtesy of a tied 13th result at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic in April. The Malaysian needs at least a top-15 finish this week to reach his goal as the top-60 players on the Order of Merit earn playing rights next season.

“This is an important week for me. I had full playing rights previously and that was wonderful. I hope I can reprise those memories and do well here. If I can get inside the top-60, it will be great for my career because I will qualify for all the big Asian Tour events,” he said.

“I went to see the doctor this week and he asked me to rest but I told him I can’t. That’s how important it is for me. I injured my shoulder in India (Hero Indian Open) and it hasn’t recovered since then. I know I should really think about resting but there’s just too much on the line.

“My shoulder still hurts at impact so it is still okay. My back swing is fine so I’m quite happy about that. I still feel the pain so I’ll just need to bear with it until this week,” added Shaaban.

Chiragh Kumar of India, who has one top-10 finish at the Hero Indian Open in October, hopes to overcome the pressure-packed situation by keeping things simple as he needs to move nine ranks up the Order of Merit.

“Yeah, I have to play well to keep my Asian Tour card. I’m going to go out there and play my game. I can’t give myself extra pressure to perform well and keep my card. If I play well then I deserve to keep it. Otherwise, I’ll try again next year,” said the 28-year-old.

“Early on in the year when I wasn’t playing too well, I was putting a bit of pressure on myself to keep my card. I tried pushing myself to play well in the big events and that kind of got to me. I had some injuries early in the year which I couldn’t get fit enough to play. I feel a little better now and playing better,” said Kumar.

At the top of the Order of Merit, current leader Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand aims to fend off the challenges for Marcus Fraser of Australia, currently second on the Order of Merit, Jbe Kruger of South Africa, Indian star Gaganjeet Bhullar, Masanori Kobayashi of Japan and Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, who all have a mathematical chance to become Asia’s number one.

Meanwhile, highly rated Malaysian amateur Gavin Kyle Green will enjoy a dream pairing with Els and Garcia in the opening two rounds of the Iskandar Johor Open.

The 18-year-old, who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation, is one of the most talked-about amateurs in Malaysia, having won countless titles in the country and became the first local in 15 years to win the Malaysian Amateur Open. He also qualified for the US Amateur Open in August.

Green, who is studying at the University of New Mexico, where he is a member of the college team said, “I’m feeling excited. This is the biggest moment in my career. I’m not feeling nervous yet but it might be different when the time comes. I’ll just need to concentrate on my own game.”

The Iskandar Johor Open is presented by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is a government-linked company specifically incorporated to take on the role of master developer of prime waterfront properties in Johor Bahru.


About Iskandar Waterfront Holdings SDN BHD (IWH)

IWH is a government-linked company that was specifically incorporated to serve as the master developer of over 3,000-acres of prime waterfront land in Johor Bahru. The crown in the jewel of this integrated development will be Danga Bay. The master plan envisages six other components – The Gateway comprising two identical 34-storey residential blocks linked at the top by a skywalk; a landscaped riverside development known as The Venice; Danga Heights, which is set become Johor Bahru’s newest uptown lifestyle address; a high-end mixed development called Tebrau Coast on the eastern corridor of Johor Bahru; and JB Tanjung Puteri Waterfront, a commercial mixed development straddling both sides of the Causeway to Singapore. IWH is also developing a Marina & Beach Resort @ Desaru.

About The Iskandar Johor Open

The Iskandar Johor Open is one of the fastest-growing tournaments on the Asian Tour, and has attracted some of the best golfers in the world. The event was successfully staged at the Royal Johor Country Club for the first three years, and at Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in 2010 and 2011.

It returns to Johor for the sixth time at Horizon Hills, where once again golf fans will be able to witness yet another exciting golf tournament which is staking its claim as one of the top events on the Asian Tour calendar.

Iskandar Malaysia and Johor Golf Association are continuing with their support of this event, and have created the biggest international event in Johor. Since the inaugural event in 2007, the prize money for the tournament has increased by five-fold from US$300,000 in 2007 to US$1,250,000 in 2010. In 2011, the prize money grew to a minimum of US$2,000,000 and will remain for 2012.

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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

About IMG Sports & Entertainment

Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment’s diverse businesses include: consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; licensing; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world’s largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year.

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