Chia earns CIMB Asia Pacific Classic berth

Danny Chia (© Ravi T Chitty / The ClubHouse)

Kuala Lumpur: Danny Chia was today confirmed as the second Malaysian in the field for the US$6.1 million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia, ending weeks of speculation on who will tee-off alongside national qualifier champion Shaaban Hussin in the PGA Tour-sanctioned event.

Event title sponsors CIMB Group also confirmed the appearance of 2009 US Open champion Lucas Glover and 2001 British Open winner David Duval alongside a host of proven PGA Tour winners including Australian Stuart Appleby, Brendan Steele, Jonathan Byrd, Jhonattan Vegas, Mark Wilson, Fredrik Jacobson, Rory Sabbatini, Chris Kirk, Scott Stallings and D.A. Points.

Chia, who reclaimed his position as the best placed local in the Official World Golf Rankings after finishing tied 20th at the US$1.7 million Asia Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan on September 25, will cherish the chance to prove his worth in a star-studded field with a combined 114 PGA TOUR victories between them and five Major championship winners, as of October 11.

“I’ve had a few issues with my game this season, but in the past few weeks things have got better. I am hitting the ball much cleaner than I did earlier this year and that has given me more confidence,” said Chia, who will be eager to ride on his recent uplift in form and fitness. which saw him bag the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Clearwater Classic as well as two top-20 finishes on the Asian Tour.

“So far as the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia tournament goes, I am looking forward to it. It will be a good challenge and I hope to put on a good performance. I will certainly do my best.”

The CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia field includes no fewer than nine players who made it to the Tour Championship the final event in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and will see four exciting rookie Tour winners making their way to Kuala Lumpur for a showdown with some of golf’s biggest names.

Leading the way is Steele, who has looked mighty threatening in recent weeks. The 28-year-old, who wrapped up a breakthrough win at the Valero Texas Open in April posted two top ten finishes recently in the Deutsche Bank Championship and the just concluded Open.

Big-hitting Vegas has been nothing short of explosive with his bombing drives and real soft touch around the greens and the 27-year-old Venezuelan has notched up three top-10 finishes after his early season victory at the Bob Hope Classic.

Another player expected to make a huge impact is 26-year-old Kirk, who claimed a famous victory at the Viking Classic, on top of his runner finish behind Phil Mickelson in the Shell Houston Open while Stallings, who claimed his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Greenbrier Classic will look to once again trump the experienced players with a composed display.

The field for the second edition of the event will also include the top-ten players from the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit following the conclusion of this week’s Hero Indian Open.