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Chia's glory trail gets tougher

Posted: 11 Apr 2011 07:58 PM PDT

2011/04/11
By Jugjet Singh


Peter Thomson, who took part in the inaugural Malayan Open in 1962, shares a light moment with Danny Chia (right) while CEO of Global One, John Eu, looks on yesterday.  — Picture by Osman Adnan

Peter Thomson, who took part in the inaugural Malayan Open in 1962, shares a light moment with Danny Chia (right) while CEO of Global One, John Eu, looks on yesterday. — Picture by Osman Adnan

DANNY Chia is no stranger to the Maybank Malaysian Open, and has seen his name at the leader-board on two occasions, only to falter after the cut-off.

And he is eager to prove himself again, when he tees off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) alongside 21 other Malaysian hopefuls.

The fact that no Malaysian has won this national championship since 1962, has made him more determined.


"I came close in 2008 and 2009, only to crumble under pressure. However, I have taken it as a learning curve, and as always, will aim to make an impression at the KLGCC," said Chia.

He has had a lousy start this season, as he was bogged down by a wrist injury, but he has amassed over US$600,000 (RM1.8 million) in the Asian Tour since 2004, He was also the first Malaysian to win on the Tour, when he triumphed in the 2002 Taiwan Open.

Chia was in contention in the Maybank Malaysian Open in 2008, and was the halfway leader in the 2009 edition before finishing in tied 11th.


"I have recovered from the injury, well almost 90 percent, and after playing a round this morning (yesterday), I feel the greens at KLGCC are much better than last year.

"The greens have matured, unlike last year when the course was newly refurbished, and I believe it is going to be a better Open for me as well as the other Malaysians," said Chia.

Among the other local hopefuls are Iain Steel, Ben Leong, Shaaban Hussin and S. Siva Chandhran.


While Chia currently sits in 64th place on the Asian Tour career earnings, Iain Steel lies as the highest ranking Malaysian in 57th place with earnings of US$664,246.

Steel holds the distinction as the first golfer from the country to play in the British Open and is highly regarded as the most consistent golfer on the Asian Tour where he has kept his Tour card since 2006.

An Asian Tour title continues to elude Steel, whose father is Scottish, but it would be a fitting occasion should he win the elusive Seagram Trophy on Sunday.

On the other side of the spectrum, Ben Leong will be eager to make his first cut in the Malaysian Open after five attempts.

The young Malaysian was victorious in the 2008 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters, which saw him beat Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand in an epic duel and he has gone on to enjoy fruitful results on the Asian tour.

However, with World No 1 Martin Kaymer of Germany and newly crowned Masters champion Charl Schwartzel of South Africa also on the same course, it will be a mammoth task for a Malaysian to sweep the elusive title.

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Two-gold target for Asian meet

Posted: 11 Apr 2011 08:16 AM PDT

NATIONAL Silat exponents will begin their preparation for this year's Palembang Sea Games at the inaugural Asian Pencak Silat Championships in Singapore starting on Thursday.

The 14-man squad, unchanged from the team which did well to bag four gold, six silver and five bronze medals at the World Silat Championships in Jakarta last December, have regrouped for centralised training at the National Sports Complex, Bukit Jalil since March 1 and will be looking to regain their competitive edge at the tournament.

Malaysian National Silat Federation (PESAKA) coordinator Osman Nok said PESAKA had set a reasonable target of winning two gold medals from the event.


"The team have had a two-month break since the World (Silat) Championships in December and are still some way from being in peak condition," said Osman.

"We have been working hard on their fitness since they returned to training and I would say they have reached a reasonable level, but competition-wise, they may be a bit rusty from the long break."

Osman added that the high standard of competition at the championships, which will also feature silat heavyweights from Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, would give his charges a chance to iron-out the kinks in their technique.


"It will not be easy in Singapore as most of the strong teams will be there, but it will be a good chance for us to analyse and later improve on our weaknesses," said Osman.

"We have not set any targets on who will win the medals but I would think it would come from our four more experienced exponents Fauzi Khalid, Emy Latip, Hafiz Mahari or Faizal Abdullah." -- FADHLI ISHAK

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