Petaling Jaya, June 11: Tan Wei Chean held on to his five-stroke overnight lead to emerge victorious at the Selangor International Junior Masters 2011, presented by Etiqa today.
The 18-year-old from Tropicana Golf & Country Resort made full use of his familiarity with Seri Selangor Golf Club layout, carding a final round of four-over 76 for a tournament haul of six-over-par 222, to lift the Piala Menteri Besar Selangor ahead of Ng Choo Teck.
The victory earned Wei Chean a slot at next month’s US$400,000 Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters, where he will be tee it up with Choo Teck, Mohd Hisyam Majid and boys’under-18 category champion Chan Tuck Soon in the Asian Tour event.
The 54-hole junior tournament saw 95 of the nation’s best junior players as well foreign participants slug it out in five categories – boys’ under-21, girls’ under-21, boys’ under-18, boys’ under-15 and boys’ under-12. The field was reduced to 60 players for the third and final round today.
Isza Fariza Ismail came back from behind to win in the girls’ under-21 division, snatching a one-shot victory over Asha Lakshme Balakrishnan. It was Isza’s third straight victory in as many tournaments played, after her wins at the Negeri Sembilan Amateur Open and KGNS-Mazda Ladies Amateur Championship. Korean Lee Na Ra was a further stroke adrift in third on 233.
The boys’ under-18 category went into a sudden-death decider after both Tuck Soon and Ahmad Zahir Abd Ghani finished level on 231. The burly Tuck Soon showed his experience as a national player to take the win on the first playoff hole. In third was pre-tournament favourite Gavin Kyle Green, who closed with a 80 for a tournament total of 233.
The Republic of Korea dominated the boys’ under-15 category with Park Chang Uk and PArk Jong Hin notching up a one-two finish on 231 and 238 respectively. Amir Nazrin Jailani was relegated to third place on countback after carding a final round of 84 compared to Jong Hin’s 82.
It was also a day of cheers for Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz, who emerged champion of the boys’ under-12. The bespectacled young lad from Johor shot a final-day best of 76 to usurp early pacesetter Galven Kendall Green, who failed to capitalise on his three-shot lead at the start of the final round.Finishing third was Khavish Varman Varadan who managed a three-day total of 237.
Meanwhile, a hole-in-one was recorded during round two yesterday by Thomas Low of Royal Perak Golf Club, who was rewarded for his effort with a trophy and Etiqa travel bag.
The prizes were presented to the winners by Tan Sri Dato’ Abd Khalid Ibrahim, the Menteri Besar of Selangor and chief executive officer of Etiqa Insurance & Takaful Hans De Cuyper.
“We are proud to be the key partner to this junior golf tournament for the third year in a row and provide a valuable and competitive platform towards the development of these young golfers. In line with our brand promise of humanising insurance and takaful, Etiqa is serious in cultivating and supporting the development of youth, in this case for the junior golfers to compete and gain experience at the higher level professional tournaments,” said de Cuyper.
“This year’s tournament saw the participation of more than 90 junior golfers from England, Laos, Korea, Myanmar and the host country Malaysia. I am happy that the reputation and recognition of this junior tournament, which is presented by Etiqa, has started to catch the attention of more international junior players,” he added.