Chia positive of better finish

Danny Chia ©Eddie Putera|TCH
Danny Chia ©Eddie Putera|TCH

Kuala Lumpur: A firmer putting stroke proved the difference for Danny Chia as he recovered from two poor rounds with an even-par finish at the CIMB Classic on Saturday.

The 41-year-old battled his way around the soft West Course of Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, with four birdies offsetting a couple of dropped shots, including a disastrous double bogey on the 18th.

It left him in a tie for 65th on five-over 221, just a single stroke better than national number one Nicholas Fung, whose hesitant start once again cost him, as he bundled home with a three-over 75.

Chia, who began on the back nine, made the turn on 38 but rallied with three birdies against a single bogey shot to give himself some positive vibes going into the final round.

“Finally! I was starting to worry about my birdie count this week but I played decently well coming in. I was just more relaxed with my thoughts and swinging a bit more freely, which translated to better shots,” said Chia.

“As I went out this morning, I just told myself that I have to hit it firm. I have to give it a lot of hit because the first two days, I was just tentative with my putts,” he added.

Despite still struggling to execute shots, especially off the penal rough, Chia admits that little more than his own pride is at stake. “I’m pretty much at the bottom, so there’s really nothing to lose here. I mean tomorrow I’ll maybe try to be slightly more aggressive in some of the holes and just to hit those putts firm and see how I end up.”

Nicholas Fung ©Eddie Putera|TCH
Nicholas Fung ©Eddie Putera|TCH

Meanwhile, Fung was left a frustrated figure as he dropped three bogeys in his opening nine before putting on a much improved display after the rain suspension.

“Disappointing day again. My putting was better than yesterday but I still struggled with my iron shots. I hit it so bad and even duffed a few shots today, even a wedge shot on the 18th,” said the 24-year-old Sabahan.

The soggy conditions didn’t help because I usually like to hit a lot of divots. But I did hit it pure after the rain delay. I hope I can bring the form I had from the last six holes forward for tomorrow.”