Kuala Lumpur: Rizal Amin of Malaysia believes a successful title defence will be the catalyst to reviving his lackluster season when the PGM MIDF KLGCC Championship starts on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old won the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event in a play-off last year but has since stuggled to find more success in the 2015 season.
“Defending my title? That sounds exciting! My game is looking good. I took a week off last week and worked on my game. Time goes by so fast, I can’t believe it has been one year. It felt like only yesterday that I won my first title,” said Rizal.
“It has been an up-and-down year. I’m finally gaining my confidence back but the season is almost ending. This is golf, you win some and you lose some. There are times when you struggle but you have to keep your head up. It is a brutal game. You can be on top of the world one day and be at the bottom of the barrel the next day,” he said.
A return to the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s East course will evoke fond memories for Rizal who will defend the title against current Order of Merit leader Casey O’Toole of the United States and Chinese Taipei’ Hsieh Chi-hsien at the RM200,000 (approximately US$50,000) ADT event.
A strong cast of talented ADT champions including last week’s winner Chanat Sakulpolphaisan of Thailand, Sean Riordan of New Zealand, Janne Kaske of Finland and Poom Saksansin will also feature in the event which is the second last stop of the ADT’s 2015 Schedule.
Rizal will spearhead the local charge alongside Arie Irawan, ranked fourth on the Order of Merit, Sukree Othman, who finished tied 12th at the Resorts World Manila Masters on the Asian Tour last week, and Nicholas Fung, the 2013 ADT Order of Merit winner.
Rizal is optimistic that he can get the job done as he is beginning to reap the benefits of a swing change made earlier this year. A good result at the PGM MIDF KLGCC Championship will also be a confidence booster for the Malaysian who has signed up for the 2016 Asian Tour Qualifying School.
“I have no regrets. I’m working for a better me and a better golf career. You have to be patient and keep on working and believing in yourself. I know I was struggling and I missed a lot of cuts but it is not easy winning a golf tournament. They say that winning a second one is always the toughest,” said Rizal.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.