Shaaban aims for top spot at SapuraKencana National Qualifier

Sun 24 Aug 2014

Shaaban aims for top spot at SapuraKencana National Qualifier

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Kuala Lumpur, August 24: Shaaban Hussin hopes to play his way back into the CIMB Classic by winning the SapuraKencana National Qualifier at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club starting on Monday.
The slender Malaysian featured in the CIMB Classic, which is sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and Asian Tour for three successive years but was denied a fourth appearance when he finished one-shot behind Rashid Ismail at the SapuraKencana National Qualifier last year.
With a prize purse of RM150,000 on offer at the qualifier, Shaaban knows he must be on top of his game to earn a quick return to the CIMB Classic which will be held from October 30 to November 2.
“My goal will be to win the SapuraKencana National Qualifier. Playing in the CIMB Classic was one of the best experiences in my golfing life and I missed being in it last year after losing to Rashid,” said Shaaban.
“Every player wants to have the opportunity to compete against other players from the PGA TOUR and with the event being held in Malaysia, I want to take up the opportunity. I will be trying my best next week.
“When the CIMB Classic came around last year, I was very frustrated sitting at home and not being at the KLGCC. Hopefully it does not happen again this year.”
With a fourth place finish at the PGM Terengganu Championship and a joint sixth outing at the PGM Vascory Templer Park Championship on the Asian Development Tour recently, the 34-year-old feels his game is in good shape despite not winning a title yet on the domestic circuit this season.
A return to the West Course is also giving Shaaban plenty of confidence ahead of the SapuraKencana National Qualifier, which is sanctioned by the PGA of Malaysia.
“I enjoy playing on the West Course which is a tough course. You need to hit it long and straight there to have the chance to score. If you’re wayward off the tee, you’ll have no chance of playing well. You’ll need to execute a good strategy on this course,” he said.
“I’ve been hitting it good recently and I have posted some good results on the Asian Development Tour. Hopefully I will have the game to compete next week.”
Rookie professional Abel Tam is dreaming of a spot at the CIMB Classic through the SapuraKencana National Qualifier but expects competition to be tough.
“It’s going to be a strong field as there is only one spot available for the winner,” said the 22-year-old, who was one of the mainstays of the Malaysian national amateur team before he joined the paid ranks in March.
“I hope things will click for me next week. I enjoyed my best finish on the Asian Development Tour in Terengganu by finishing sixth recently and that’s given me a lot of confidence.
“To win on the West Course, you need to play some very good golf. It’s a tough track and it punishes you when you don’t play well. It’s not been too kind to me when I’ve played there during the Malaysian Open in the past but hopefully it will change.”
The SapuraKencana National Qualifier, returning for its third consecutive year, is sponsored by the world’s leading integrated oil and gas services and solutions provider, SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad (“SapuraKencana”), which is also the lead partner in the CIMB Classic 2014.
In 2013, the SapuraKencana National Qualifier saw Rashid produce a heroic up-and-down par save on the final hole to secure a one-shot victory over Shaaban.
The CIMB Classic will be the fourth event of the 2014/15 FedExCup Season on the PGA TOUR. Offering full FedExCup points, the CIMB Classic will feature 78 players – 60 coming from the PGA TOUR, 10 from Asian Tour and eight sponsor’s exemptions, and will carry a total purse of US$7 million.
Out of the eight sponsor’s exemptions, CIMB Classic accords two spots for Malaysians. The second spot will be accorded to the highest ranked Malaysian golfer on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) as at October 20. If the winner of the SapuraKencana National Qualifier is also the leading Malaysian in the OGWR, the second spot for the CIMB Classic will automatically go to the next best-ranked Malaysian on the OGWR.
About SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad
SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad (“SapuraKencana”) is a full-fledged upstream player and one of the world’s largest integrated oil and gas services and solutions providers. SapuraKencana’s full spectrum of capabilities covers the entire value chain of exploration, development, production, rejuvenation, and decommissioning and abandonment. With a multinational workforce comprising 51 nationalities and over 13,000 people, comprehensive world-class assets and project management capabilities, the Group’s global presence can be seen in over 20 countries including Malaysia, China, Australia, Brazil, the United States of America, as well as those in Western Africa, and the Middle East.
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 19 billion as at 30 June 2014 and over 40,000 employees located in 17 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
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) 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 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, NEC Series-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 2013, tournaments across all Tours generated more than $134 million for local and national charitable organizations and in early 2014 the TOUR’s all-time charitable contributions surpassed $2 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.