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GOLF: Chia gets CIMB Classic ticket


MALAYSIA'S Danny Chia shot a five-under-par 66 to win the RM150,000 Sapura National Qualifier yesterday to earn a second appearance at the CIMB Classic next month.

Chia fired his best score of the week for a winning total of nine-under 204, two shots ahead of 19-year-old Mohamad Azman, who charged up the leaderboard with a sensational 65 at the Mines Resort & Golf Club.

Overnight leader Shaaban Hussin finished third following a 73 but is expected to take up the second Malaysian slot in the CIMB Classic as he is the best ranked local golfer on the world rankings after Chia.

Chia turned in 34 and cruised to victory on the homeward nine with birdies on holes 10, 11, 13 and 17.

"My focus was much better. I tried to not look at my swing and focused on shooting a low score. I know this course quite well and I knew if I played decent golf, I would be able to produce a low score," said Chia.

Chia is now relishing the opportunity of playing in the CIMB Classic again as he finished tied 13th last year and played with Vijay Singh of Fiji in the third round.

He hopes to be paired with 14-time Major champion Tiger Woods, who will headline the US$6.1 million (RM19 million) event.

"I've booked my tee times now," he smiled. "That's a good thing for me. It is always great to play with guys like Vijay (Singh). Hopefully I can play good enough and be paired with Tiger. That will be a good incentive."

Danny Chia with Sapura Group president and CEO Datuk Seri Shahril Shamsuddin (left), chairman and founder Tan Sri IR Shamsuddin Abdul Kadir (second from right) and executive director Shahriman Shamsuddin yesterday.

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