For a long while, Danny Chia was poised to grab a career first top-10 at the Maybank Malaysian Open on Sunday. Then, the winds threw him off his stride.
Chia closed with a two-over-par 74 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to settle for a share of 25th place with amateur Gavin Green, who signed for a 69 as both emerged as the leading local players at the US$3 million showpiece sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
The 42-year-old Chia, who is Malaysia’s first winner on the Asian Tour, turned in 34 but staggered home in 40 and a four-under-par 284 total.
“I knew I needed to score on the front nine and I did. I didn’t get through the tough holes very well. I hit quite a number of good shots but it turned into bogeys. Overall I’m still happy with the way I played. At least I was very close of getting what I wanted (top-10),” he said.
“I was confused on the back nine where the wind was blowing. That’s one of the factors why I didn’t play so well. This is definitely one of my best Maybank Malaysian Open performances. I’m sure there will be better performances in the future.”
Chia is now focusing on getting in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year and is targeting to play in as many Asian Tour and Asian Development Tour events for the next 18 months until the qualifying cut off.
With his game now showing signs of returning to its best following a length injury break, he is looking to work hard at achieving his goal.
“There are more things which I need to work on my game. I’m feeling good. I think it is safe to say that I know how to play in the Maybank Malaysian Open now,” said Chia.
“I’m looking forward to the rest of the year because I’m excited with the way I’m playing. There are a lot of room for improvements and this only means that I can get better.
“Where I was two years ago, I’m so happy that I can come back and play golf (after his injury). I’m playing so much better than before. I have to thank God that I can come back and playing good golf.
“I’m now more mature in golf. I’m more experienced and I’m very confident with the way I think on the golf course,” said the 42-year-old.