Shaaban Hussin lines up his putt in the first round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia at the Mines Resort and Golf Club yesterday. Shaaban fired a one-over 72. — Picture by Osman Adnan
By Jugjet Singh
MALAYSIAN hope Shaaban Hussin had a legion of fans following him, but he made too many mistakes on the first three holes and returned a one-over 72 in the first round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia to end up joint 34th yesterday..
And he admitted that instead of a boost, his friends made him nervous.
"I have to admit that I felt pressured and made too many mistakes in my opening holes.
"There were many spectators in my flight, and I felt like I was inside a football stadium!
"After they announced my name on the first tee, my friends cheered loudly like I had just scored a goal!"
Despite the opening hiccup, he felt that he played reasonably well at the Mines.
"I have never had so many friends following me before but I tried to maintain my rhythm and my feel.
"I handled that rather well, but my putting was not really good," said the 30-year-old.
But Shaaban is not worried as he still has three rounds to go.
"I need to play my normal game tomorrow (today) and I know I can achieve it because I shot a very good round in practice (66).
"I want to show my friends that I can play well and score."
He played alongside John Senden of Australia who returned an even 71 yesterday.
"He did not pressure me but he did tell me to keep up with the flight in front of us as they were playing too fast and were about one and a half holes in front of us at one point."