Shaaban on the brink of historic win

Shaaban Hussin © Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Singapore: Shaaban Hussin faces a day of destiny at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic tomorrow when he attempts to become only the fourth Malaysian to claim an Asian Tour victory.

The 31-year-old who only managed to complete his second round this afternoon with a flawless five-under-par 65, will head into the third and final round with a one-shot lead over American David Lipsky, Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka and Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant who are a further shot back on matching 132s.

The third edition of the US$400,000 tournament was officially reduced to 54-holes after inclement weather once again threw the proceedings into disarray with almost 10 hours of play lost over the last three days at Orchid Country Club. With thunderstorms and lighting threats forcing round three play to be twice suspended, officials were left with no choice but to abandon play for the day.

“The tournament has been affected by several lengthy delays and suspensions due to inclement weather throughout the week. As a result of the delays and the disruptions that we have suffered, we have taken the decision to reduce the tournament to 54 holes,” said tournament director Fritz Katzengruber.

Shaaban, who was among the 12 players who have yet to tee off their third round, was clearly prepared for the week’s challenges.“I think for professional golfers like us, we should be prepared for anything that may happen during the tournament. I just have to focus on my game,” said the Malaysian, who’s best finish on the Asian Tour to date was sole second at the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open in 2009.

Lipsky, who is searching for his second Asian Tour win in two months, is also focused on another grandstand finish despite the reduction in the number of holes this week.

“Ideally, I would like to play 72 holes but we’ve no control over the weather and I’m just going out there to prove that I can play my best this week,” said the Korean-American rookie, who earned his career breakthrough at the Handa Faldo Cambodian Classic in March.

Leading third round scores
-9 Shaaban Hussin (MAS) 66-65
-8 Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 61-71; Daisuke Kataoka (JPN) 65-67; David Lipsky (USA) 63-69
-7 Mithun Perera (SRI) 67-68-(-2 thru three holes); Scott Hend (AUS) 67-68-(-2 thru two holes); Kieran Pratt (AUS) 67-66-(E thru one hole); Hu Mu (CHN) 68-66 (-1 thru one hole); Javi Colombo (ESP) 67-66; Ron Harvey Jr (66-67); Chinnarat Padungsil (THA) 66-67; Jonathan Moore (USA) 65-68; Ben Fox (USA) 67-66