Shaaban Eyes Major Improvement

Sun 15 Apr 2012

Shaaban Eyes Major Improvement

Kuala Lumpur, April 15: Shaaban Hussin posted a one-over-par 73 at the Maybank Malaysian Open on Sunday and will now refocus his sights on moving up the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Shaaban, a Maybank ambassador, was the only Malaysian to survive the cut and he ended his campaign on two-over-par 290 at the US$2.5 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.

He earned US$7,250 with his joint 57th place finish and will need to continue his string of fine performances to stand a chance of achieving his goal of finishing in the top-60 of the Order of Merit at the end of the season.

His best placing on the Asian Tour money list was in 2009 when he finished 65th place, which earned him a full card on Tour for the first time.

“I dream of succeeding on the Asian Tour because it is good for golf in the country. More sponsors will start pouring in money and creating new events if they see more players winning and playing on the Asian Tour. It will also inspire the younger golfers,” said the lanky golfer, who is currently in 54th place on the merit list.

Being the lone Malaysian to survive the halfway cut, Shaaban had hoped for a better finish but failed to find the spark to tame the challenging Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course.

“I feel like I want to cry because of my finish. This was my best chance to get more money and improve my rankings on the Asian Tour. I’ll try and finish inside the top-40 this year.”

Shaaban, who finished tied 13th at the weather-shortened ISPS Handa Singapore Classic last week after leading into the final round, said more Malaysians have to play on the Asian Tour if they want to contend in the National Open, which has yet to welcome local winner since its inauguration in 1962.

“There are several Malaysian players who do not use up their spots on the Asian Tour because they prefer to play on the local tour. They have a mind-set that it is easy to earn money on the local tours,” said Shaaban.

“I tell myself that if I get a chance to play on the Asian Tour, I will play there and maybe I will have a chance to win. The competition on the Asian Tour is definitely tougher but it gives us the experience to play better.