Nicholas Fung wants to use his experience as a member of the EurAsia Cup team to make the cut for the first time at the Malaysian Open golf tournament starting on Thursday. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Nicholas Fung will draw on the encouragement from Thai Thongchai Jaidee to help him realise a personal goal in the Maybank Malaysian Open, which begins at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) on Thursday.
Nicholas was part of Team Asia who battled back from a disastrous opening day to share the inaugural EurAsia Cup with Team Europe in Malaysia three weeks ago.
The 23-year-old old was paired against veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, captain of Team Europe, in the singles on the final day at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club. The Spaniard won after holing a difficult birdie putt on the 18th hole.
Nicholas’ battling performance earned him praise from his team-mates and Team Asia captain Thongchai, a two-time Malaysian Open winner and three-time Asian Tour Oreder of Merit champion.
“Thongchai said that I played great against Miguel. He said that I did a great job and I should not let the defeat affect my confidence in my next tournament. I will definitely hold on to those words for this week’s Malaysian Open,” said Nicholas.
“It was great to play against Miguel. He is a top star and I did my best to beat him. I am very happy I lasted until the last hole and was only beaten by a birdie. I’ve also learnt to be more patient,” he added.
Nicholas is among the 22 Malaysians in this week’s field, which will be headlined by former champions Lee Westwood of England, Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, Arjun Atwal of India and titleholder Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand.
Nicholas has yet to make the halfway cut in seven previous appearances in his national championship. He featured three times as an amateur and four as a professional.
To break the jinx and to give him more distance off the tee, Nicholas has been working diligently in the gym.
“My tee shots always land in the bunkers at the KLGCC. My distance from the tee used to be about 280 yards and there’s exactly where the bunkers are. That’s why I have been going to the gym to gain some distance lately.
“Now, I can hit an extra five yards to carry my drives over the traps,” said Nicholas, who won the Order of Merit on the Asian Development Tour last season to earn full playing rights on this season’s Asian Tour.
“I really hope to make the cut this time. I want to keep a positive mind and hope for a good week,” he added.