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Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 7:52:00 PM
Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 7:55:37 PM
Rashid Ismail with his trophy after winning the SapuraKencana National Qualifier on Aug 28, 2013.
KUALA LUMPUR: Sometimes, it pays to just “take it easy”. That’s what Rashid Ismail did and it won him the SapuraKencana National Qualifier title at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club Wednesday.
Johor-born Rashid posted two-under-par 70 on the final day for a three-day total of two-under-par 214 to edge out Shaaban Hussin (215) by just one shot. The win also saw him clinch a spot in the US$7mil (RM22.4mil) CIMB Classic which is on from Oct 24-27.
“I just tried to play some basic, simple golf. Because of my back injury, I didn’t come here looking to win, so this is definitely a surprise,” said Rashid, who walked away with RM22,000.
“I’ve changed my swing a bit and it’s definitely helped to take the pressure off my back. It doesn’t look pretty, but it works,” he added with a laugh.
“And this course is quite strenuous, so you can see why I didn’t expect to play as well as I did.”
It’s been a rough season for Rashid who has been plagued by a back injury he picked up in April last year.
The 40-year-old has undergone 15 rounds of physiotherapy to soothe the swollen tendon below his right hip, but the pain always seems to creep up on him when he least expects it.
“I think I need to lay off golf for six months to fully recover, but what can I do, I love golf so much that I just can’t stay away that long,” he said.
“The injury worries me, but I want to stay fit and healthy and make full use of that spot in the Classic. It may be a tall order for a Malaysian to win, but not impossible.”
This year, the CIMB Classic will offer FedEx Cup points for the first time since the tournament’s inauguration in 2010.
The second local spot at the tournament is still up for grabs and will go to the highest ranked Malaysian on the Official World Golf Ranking on Oct 6. Currently, Sabah’s Nicholas Fung (ranked no. 509) and Iain Steel (no. 521) hold the top two spots.
Leading third and final round scores:
214: Rashid Ismail 73-71-70; 215: Shaaban Hussin 74-70-71; 218: Mohd Rizal Amin 75-73-70; 219: Iain Steel 75-68-76; 220: R. Nachimuthu 73-72-75; 221: Lim Eng Seng 74-71-76; 222: Iylia Jamil 77-74-71, Airil Rizman 77-74-71; 223: M. Sasidaran 75-77-71, Azman Basharudin 78-72-73, Nicholas Fung 74-72-77.
Tags / Keywords:
golf, Rashid Ismail, SapuraKencana National Qualifier, CIMB Classic
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