YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Hakeem hopes to pass with flying colours
Hua Hin, Thailand - Yam Pengiran Muda Abdul Hakeem is among the hopefuls eager to pass the brutal test and earn his Tour card at the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand which starts on Wednesday, according to a press release received yesterday.
Having grown up watching his grandfather play golf, the 39-year-old is relishing the experience of seeing how far his game has progressed this week.
"This is a new experience for me and I'm excited to see how I'm going to fare. Golf has always been my love from young," said YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Hakeem who picked up the sport when he was seven years old.
"I've always wanted to turn professional and was just looking for the right time to do so. If I do it any later, it will probably not worth doing it. I'm here and I want to enjoy this ride for as long as I can," added YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Hakeem.
YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Hakeem could become the first Bruneian to graduate from the Asian Tour Qualifying School if he plays true to form.
However, he prefers to stay grounded and not get ahead of himself "I'm very realistic with my goals and being here for the first time, I'll just take whatever comes my way" said YAM Pengiran Muda Abdul Hakeem.
Meanwhile, Australia's Jake Higginbottom believes his pathway to success lies with making the grade at the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage.
The gruelling test where the top-40 and ties earn playing privileges for the 2013 Asian Tour season will be played at the Imperial Lakeview Golf Club and Springfield Royal Country Club.
Higginbottom served notice of his talent when he became the first amateur in more than half a century to win the New Zealand Open last year. He immediately turned professional two days after his breakthrough victory and has been hailed by many as the next star to emerge from Australia.
"The reason why I want to play on the Asian Tour is because Asia's a good place and it's close to home. It's going to be a long week but I do look forward to playing. The course is nice so I think it should be good," said Higginbottom.
Having played alongside some of the world's best players that include American legend Tom Watson, the 19-year-old is hoping that he can get the opportunity to play against Asia's best if he makes it through the week.
China's Hu Mu is also eyeing a coveted place at this week's Asian Tour Qualifying School.
An accomplished golfer who won the under 18-yearold division at the China junior Golf Open in 2001 when he was just 11 year old, Hu is now bent on setting his sights higher.
The 23-year-old moved to the United States with his family to train, compete and study at age 11.
He earned a scholarship to University of Florida, where he featured prominently on the US college circuit before graduating with a business degree.
However, it's the play-for-pay ranks that the Chinese is now hoping to make his career breakthrough.
Other notable names this week include India's Rashid Khan, a member of the silver medal winning team in the 2010 Asian Games, Han Chang-won of Korea, the 2009 Asian Amateur Championship winner and Kenichi Kuboya, a multiple winner in Japan.
Players who play in the Qualifying School are also eligible to play in the Asian Development Tour (ADT) which will be afforded with Official World Golf Ranking points starting this season.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin