MGA shortlist 2017 SEA Games Project Squad

A matured showing by Winnie Ng in recent months has seen a rise into the national team
A matured showing by Winnie Ng in recent months has earned her a place in the 2017 Project Squad

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) together with the National Sports Council (NSC) have earmarked six men and five lady amateurs for the 2017 Kuala Lumpur South East Asian (SEA) Games project squad.

The team will see all seven campaigners from June’s Singapore Games, namely Amir Nazrin Jailani, Bryan Teoh Wiyang, Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz, Galven Kendall Green as well as Genevieve Ling I-Rynn, Loy Hee Ying and Nur Durriyah Damian retained.

New additions to the preliminary squad include seasoned campaigner Chan Tuck Soon and Ervin Chang as well as promising starlets Ashley Lau Jen Wen and Winnie Ng Yu Xuan.

MGA president Senator Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said that the players were selected based on their performance in both local and regional events, held during the period from May to October 2015.

A qualified head coach will be appointed by the NSC to manage and oversea the two-year training programme.

“As the host nation, it is imperative on the part of MGA to ensure that our strategic plans are professionally managed to enable our players to deliver gold medals,” said Mohd Anwar in a statement.

He also announced the establishment of an Order of Merit (OOM), intended to track the performance of local amateurs.

The OOM will be based on points garnered from participation in all local amateur meets, providing equal opportunities for all amateurs to compete and earn points. As for Malaysian players based abroad, their performance based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) will be taken into consideration.

“The OOM will assist MGA to ensure that only the best players are selected to be part of the national team in the future. The selection criteria will be fair and just and we will afford opportunities for players residing in Malaysia and overseas to compete for slots in the national set-up,” he added.

Malaysia last struck gold in 2001 when the men’s quartet of Airil Rizman Zahari, S. Sivachandhran, Mohd Shaaban Hussin and Sahal Saedin won the team competition on home soil.