Strong HK showing a late-season boost for Chia

Danny Chia ©Khalid Redza

HONG KONG: Danny Chia capped a whirlwind season with a confidence-boosting top ten finish at the UBS Hong Kong Open on Sunday.

The 44-year-old has been working hard to rectify a techincal issue with his game and the results are slowly starting to trickle in as he settled for a tied-eighth finish at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

Chia closed his campaign with a solid three-under 67 to finish on seven-under 273 alongside Spaniard Pablo Larrazaval in the US$2 million European and Asian Tours co-sanctioned tournament.

“It was great. I was hitting the ball quite solid [all week]. Putting was great today. So very happy with it.

“It was nice, a nice way to end the year for me. Actually I hope it just started because I just start to hit the ball decent again. But anyway, next month it starts again,” noted Chia, who picked up a cheque for US$47,400.

It was always going to be a tall order for the national number one to replicate the heights of his 2015 exploits when he ended a 13-year wait for a second Asian Tour victory.

And while Chia added two further career highlights to an already impressive resume with appearances at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM and the Rio Olympics, the second half of the season proved a punishing one as his game was plagued by an errant back swing.

While a short break may well be in order, Chia believes that he is needs to continue working on his technique with the likes of Nicholas Fung and Ben Leong raring to usurp him as Malaysia’s top professional.

“I got good swing thought now and just stick with it for a while, so I should be doing quite well. I was thinking about it at one stage to stop for a while, but since I start hitting the ball solid again, I think I’m back to practice. There will be no off for me,” added Chia.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Fung who missed the weekend action in Hong Kong, finished the year as the top-ranked Malaysian on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, totalling US$ 219,439 in 12th placing.