First-time host KGPA gear-up for KL Amateur Open

Kuala Lumpur: Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam (KGPA) is set to host the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open for the first time in the tournament’s history this coming February 21-23.

The three-day championship, which is expected to gather top amateurs from Malaysia and Singapore, United States, Korea, Myanmar and many more neighbouring countries, will be played at the club’s challenging Championship course; it was announced during a press conference on February 2. To date, a total of 101 participants have already confirmed their interests including 28 ladies.

MGA president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor dismissed suggestions that the course’s reputation as demanding layout will see a drop in the number of participants, especially overseas entries.

“In terms of difficulty level of the course, it is questionable whether it will affect the overseas participation. Once a tournament is given the recognition as a World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) event, players will come and participate because of the ranking points on offer. Since being upgraded as WAGR event in 2008, our regional counterparts have consistently send their top players to the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open and the 2012 edition will be no different,” he shared.

With the greens at holes 1, 2, 8 and 12 being expanded and some OBs being removed, KGPA general manager Mahat Bahari believes that the participants will nonetheless enjoy three days of good golfing. “We were very excited when the MGA approached us about hosting this event for the first time and we took the opportunity to prep the course since the end of last year. Much has been said about the difficulty of our course, but I believe that it is a challenge worth one of the country’s top amateur opens. We are noted for our tough pin positions, as seen during the National Trials held earlier this year and I’m sure that the most masterful player in the field will emerge the champion,” he said.

Defending champions Gavin Kyle Green and Iman Ahmad Nordin are not expected to defend their crowns as both are now continuing their studies in the United States.

With a rich history, the Open started in 2001 as a pro-am tournament, ran concurrently with the Sime Darby Masters at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club before becoming a stand-alone amateur event in 2008.

Entry fee for the tournament which is has been set at RM350.00 per competitor with the closing date for entries on February 10, 2012.