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CIMB Classics: Malaysians Going Strong. pic: The StarCIMB Classics: Malaysians Going Strong. pic: The StarMALAYSIANS Rashid Ismail and Nicholas Fung did considerably well in their CIMB Classic debut.

The 40-year-old Rashid, who is still troubled by a niggling hip (swollen tendon) injury, ended the first round yesterday with a one-over 73 to finished joint 44th with the likes of Australia’s Aaron Baddeley and American Jeff Overton and seven others.

“I feel I played good. I didn’t have much problems except for a few missed putts from six feet. (Tomorrow), I want to find more fairways. That’s the key here. I hope I make a lot of putts as well,” said Rashid.

Starting on the front nine, Rashid picked up two birdies (third and fifth holes) and two bogeys (first and fourth holes).

A lapse of concentration at the ninth cost him dearly.

“I just lost focus there. I didn’t have the correct yardage. So I forced my second shot and it went into the rough. I became frustrated because I was trying too hard to get par and ended up with a double bogey instead,” he said.

“I was hitting the ball very good till then, so I just continued on the second nine. I told myself to stay positive and trust myself.”

Top-ranked Malaysian Nicholas, meanwhile, finished just one stroke behind Rashid after carding a two-over 74 to finish tied for 54th.

The world No. 411 Sabahan had a brilliant start on the first nine, picking up two birdies on the third and fifth, before his good work came undone on the eight hole.

“I was approaching the eighth when I looked up at the scoreboard and saw I was tied for third. So I thought ‘not bad’. I just told myself to play my game and not put pressure on myself,” said Nicholas.

“But then, I misjudged my shot at the eighth and ended up bogeying the hole.”

And it was somewhat downhill from there for the 23-year-old as he missed a birdie putt on the 12th and bogeyed three more holes on the 10th, 11th and 13th.

“I finished the first nine on 35 and was really happy with that. I’m still happy with my game. I’ve been hitting good, but it’s just my putting,” he said.

“This time the problem was not my putter ... my aim was just off today. My putting was so bad when I had to hit left to right ... I need to do more practice on my putting.

“Tomorrow, I will start on the back nine. Hopefully, I’ll play good on the back nine first so that it will be easier to do well on the front nine, which is also the scoring nine.”



-The Star
http://www.thestar.com.my/Sport/Golf/2013/10/24/Locals-hold-their-own-in-CIMB-Classic.aspx