KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian number one Danny Chia is ready to play alongside the world’s best players after receiving his late entry into the WGC-HSBC Champions which will tee off at the Sheshan International Golf Club on Thursday.
The two-time Asian Tour winner was the first reserve from the Asian Tour’s entry list but will step up to the tee at the US$8.5 million event after the other qualifying categories were not fulfilled.
Playing at the WGC-HSBC Champions for the first time, Chia will have several of the world’s leading players for company at the Shanghai showpiece, which is also the richest tournament in Asia.
They include world number two Jordan Spieth, world number three Rory McIlroy, and fellow top 10 stars Rickie Fowler (5) and Henrik Stenson (7) as well as defending champion Bubba Watson (4).
“I was actually planning to have the week off as I was looking forward to spending time with my family after playing 12 events in a row.
“But I got all excited again when I received the news that I’ll be going to Shanghai,” said the Malaysian.
While the 7,266 yard par-72 course may not favour Chia’s game, he believes he can make up for it with an astute game plan.
“This is not only a long golf course but also a very strategic one. You need to plan your shots well by hitting lots of good mid-iron shots to the green.
“So I wouldn’t exactly say the distance would be a disadvantage to me because I can still make up for it in other ways. Off the tee, maybe but if I can hit lots of mid-iron shots, I should do well here,” said Chia.
Chia will be joined in Shanghai by seven other Asian Tour stars that include Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia of India, Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Australian Scott Hend and Andrew Dodt and Canadian Richard T. Lee.