Alor Gajah, Melaka; May 31: A trio of junior players recorded their breakthrough victories during the opening leg of the Malaysian Golf Association-SportExcel National Junior Golf Circuit, indicating the high level of competitiveness present in the local junior ranks.
Amirul Aizat Abdul Baha,Ong Shi Qing and Lucas Yee picked up wins in the boys’ under-20, girls’ under-15 and boys’ under-12 respectively after the two-day event concluded at A’Famosa Golf Resort earlier today.
The 18-year-old Aizat (5) played to his handicap, carding consecutive rounds of 77 for a tournament total of 154 to beat Leonard Yugandra (6) and Mohd Faisal Sahbuddin (4) by three strokes. Leonard took second place ahead of Faisal on countback.
Amirul, who is aiming to continue his studies at Universiti Utara Malaysia later this year, was still looking for improvement despite picking up the title. “Yes, I’m delighted but not satisfied with my game over the last two days as I only played to my handicap. I hope to be able to hone my game further and this victory will surely be a motivating factor,” he said.
Ong (18) on the otherhand had to endure the drama of a sudden-death playoff before seeing off the challenge of 13-handicapper Warda Amirah Abdul Rawof in the girls’ under-15 division after both players had finished tied on 168. Kelie Kan Kah Yan claimed third position on 171.
The 14-year-old Ong was lost for words after claiming her maiden title on the national junior circuit with her splendid performance. “I’m very happy for picking up the win today after a very nervous and pressure-packed playoff with Warda,” shared the soft-spoken lass from Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia, who was a last-minute entry after another competitor pulled out.
Ipoh-based Yee (11) also recorded matching 77s enroute to lifting the boys under-12 title on 154. Four strokes adrift in second was Ryan Wong (5) while Muhammad Afif came in third on 161. Yee was satisfied with his game, despite the absence of his father behind the ropes during the tournament. “I’m definitely happy and very much excited with my first win. I was driving the ball well and putting was equally good but I feel that I still need to work on my approach shots if I want to maintain my winning form,” explained Yee eloquently.
The other categories saw Amir Nazrin Jailani defeat Kiishaan Lingam in a playoff to snatch the boys under-15 title, Kim Sol Lip successfully defended the girls’under-12 title that she won last year while Marcus Lim Pang Chuan continued his winning run in the mixed under-nine category.
Making a rare appearance was Datuk Robin Loh (left), who delivered the welcome address during the prize presentation. The former MGA president urged the new executive committee line-up appointed at the association’s annual general meeting earlier this month to continue his past efforts for junior golf development through SportExcel while espousing that more golf clubs come forward to host events for budding junior golfers.
RESULTS – First Leg of MGA-SportExcel National Junior Golf Circuit 2011 (A’Famosa Golf Resort – May 30-31)