The talented Shaaban was the sole Malaysian to make the weekend cut at last month’s star-studded Maybank Malaysian Open, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, and he also enjoyed a tied 13th finish at the weather-shortened ISPS Handa Singapore Classic after leading into the final round.
The lanky Malaysian has been in good form since the start of the season and he will be expected to spearhead the local charge at the RM180,000 (approximately US$60,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event at the A’Famosa Golf Resort in Malacca.
Other local hopefuls at the third leg of this season’s ADT Schedule include S. Siva Chandhran, the 2010 ADT Order of Merit winner, R. Nachimuthu, last season’s PGM Tour number one and Ben Leong, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour.
Australia’s Luke Bleumink, winner of the PGM Johor Masters also in Malaysia last month and currently leading the ADT Order of Merit, will be hoping to continue his winning streak and put the spotlight on the international field which includes Lindsay Renolds of Canada, Michael Bibat of the Philippines, Greg Moss of the United States and Japan’s Ryuji Miyazaki.
Singapore’s Lam Zhiqun is tipped to put up a strong challenge alongside compatriot Quincy Quek, who was part of the victorious 2008 Putra Cup winning team.
Launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia, the ADT has gained support from Corporate Asia, growing its schedule from five tournaments in the first season to eight tournaments in the 2011 season.
The leading three players on the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals.