Malaysia's Danny Chia and Iain Steel will renew their partnership for the fourth time when they team up at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Qualifier – Asia next week.
The duo will fly their country's flag in the Asian qualifier which is supported by One World Hotel, 100Plus and Srixon with the aim of guiding Malaysia into their first Omega Mission Hills World Cup in eight years.
Among the top contenders vying for the three World Cup spots at Seri Selangor Golf Club are Singapore's Mardan Mamat and Lam Chih Bing, who topped the qualifying when it was last held at Seri Selangor in 2006, Angelo Que and Mars Pucay of the Philippines and Muhammad Shabbir and Muhammad Munir of Pakistan.
A total of 13 teams have entered the event organised by the Asian Tour on behalf of the International Federation of PGA Tours. The event starts from Wednesday to Saturday.
This year will mark the fourth year that Chia and Steel will combine as a team and they are determined to put their past qualifying disappointments behind them as they aim to take Malaysia to the US$5.5 million World Cup in China later in November.
"If I qualify this time, I'll retire from qualifying," said Steel, who enjoyed a top-10 finish at Seri Selangor when it hosted the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters earlier this month.
"Danny has played well in the first half of the year and I'm trying to get there. I like the Seri Selangor course and Danny and I are old partners, so we know each others' game very well. I'm looking forward to it."
Chia has previously qualified for the World Cup in 2000 and 2001 with Rashid Ismail and P. Gunasegaran respectively and he will be hoping that his fourth attempt with Steel will be successful.
"We've always had one bad round holding us back in the past and we need to show more consistency. It's been a while since Malaysia last qualified for the World Cup and it'll be nice to do it with Iain. We will have to work hard to achieve this goal," said Chia.
Pucay is looking forward to another successful World Cup qualifying campaign. Last year, he and Que made their way to China and enjoyed a top-10 finish at Mission Hills Golf Club.
"We're looking forward to it and we know the Seri Selangor course well after playing in the Selangor Masters. It's a big incentive for us to try to qualify again as we did it last year and then went on to enjoy a strong outing at the World Cup. It'll be really nice to get back there with Angelo, especially when we are representing our country," said Pucay.
"Angelo has the length off the tee and I've got the accuracy, so it's a good combination. Seri Selangor is a tricky course and we'll need to be on top of our game to score well there."
The experienced team of Lam and Mardan are also ready for the challenge as they aim to qualify for their fourth World Cup together. The duo will be banking on their strong friendship and experience as they challenge for the three available spots.
Mardan who is currently 11th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, is geared up to turn their fortunes around after they missed out on last year's event where they finished in tied fifth.
(Asian Tour August 20, 2009)