Ipoh: Royal Perak Golf Club is banking on its previous experience of hosting the Malaysian Open as it prepares to welcome the region’s best men amateurs for 112th Malaysian Amateur Open from May 22-25.
The prestigious national amateur championship is making its first-ever stop in the state capital and the club is going the extra mile in ensuring that the matured par-72 layout will provide a stern test to players from 14 Asia-Pacific nations that have confirmed their participation so far.
Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, Royal Perak Golf Club chairman Dato’ Jamalludin Al Amini Hj Ahmad thanked the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) for its confidence in the club’s ability to host the blue riband tournament.
“I am looking forward to four days of spectacular golf from the region’s top amateurs and hope that our very own national players will rise to the challenge and win the coveted trophy here,” said Jamalludin.
“I am certain that the club under the leadership of our chief executive officer Low Teck San will prepare an immaculate golf course that is on par with the standards required for an international championship of this stature.
MGA president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor shared that Sarawak had the first right to refusal for the 2014 edition as part of the national’s association rota but declined, paving the way for Royal Perak to step in as the host.
“We would like to record our appreciation to Royal Perak Golf Club for agreeing to host this premier amateur meet and making available the facilities for this event. The championship itself has gained traction over the years, judging by the increased number of participants from around the region,” added Mohd Anwar, who later handed over the championship trophy to Jamalludin.
Speaking on the preparation for the tournament, Low, who is also the tournament director, explained that the course has been toughened up ahead of the championship.
“Royal Perak may not be among the longest championship courses in the country but players will find that it is not a walk in the park either and the longer hitters will have to adapt their game. We expect to have the rough up to a USGA standard of four inches while the first cut will be at 2 inches.
“We have done some profiling work on the fairways, giving it a more tighter appearance given that the trees have matured considerably since our renovation exercise in 2008. The addition of some new traps and some modification to the greens, which is expected to roll at 9.5 on the stimpmeter, will further raise the challenge for our players,” noted Low.
Australian Kevin Marques will not defend the championship which he won last year in Royal Pahang Golf Club, having turned professional earlier this year.