KUALA LUMPUR: The MYFutures Junior Tour will honour two leading Malaysian golf professionals in recognition of their contribution to the game of golf in the country.
National number one and Olympian Danny Chia will have a trophy named after him while Lim Siew Ai, who has the distinction of being Malaysia’s first lady professional to ply her trade on the LPGA Tour, will be honoured with a salver.
The Danny Chia Award will be bestowed to the overall boys’ champion from the white tee division with the Lim Siew Ai Salver being awarded to the overall girls’ champion from the white tee division during an awards gala ceremony to mark the conclusion of the inaugural season of the MYFutures Junior Tour on September 16.
Dubbed the Road to Templer Park, the MYFutures Junior Tour concludes its 2016 season with a grand finale – the KOH&I Tournament of Champions at the challenging Templer Park Country Club from September 14 to 16.
An elite field of 60 players have earned their rights to compete in the three-day strokeplay competition, where the season-long Order of Merit race ends and the overall champions are crowned.
MYFutures Junior Tour chairman Ahmad Fauzi Ghazali said that the Tour was proud to celebrate the distinguished careers of Chia and Lim, who have set the benchmark for up-and-coming junior golfers.
“It is only fitting that the MYFutures Junior Tour recognises the immense impact that Danny Chia and Lim Siew Ai have had on the younger generation of golfers in this country.
“In Danny and Siew Ai, we have two of Malaysia’s finest golfers, who have achieved so much success, both in the amateur and professional ranks. They have represented the country with distinction at the highest level and we are delighted to establish these annual awards in their honour.
“Through these awards, we continue our investment in the future of Malaysian golf by inspiring the winners to realise his/her ambition and potential to become a star of the future, in the footsteps of these leading professionals,” he added.
Often regarded as a history maker, Chia has enjoyed a stellar professional career over the course of two decades. A two-time Asian Tour winner, he became the first Malaysian to play in all four rounds of a Major at the Open Championship in 2010 – in addition to his appearances in 2005 & 2008.
More recently, the 43-year-old qualified on merit for the Rio Olympics and believes that the award will spur a new wave of world-class beaters from the junior ranks.
“I am flaterred by this award and to think that I’m an inspiration to these amazing group of Malaysian juniors that are coming through the ranks is something I can really be proud of.
“My hope is that these young champions can go on to achieve bigger things than Danny Chia – I know I’ve set the benchmark but I don’t want them to just follow in my footsteps, I want them to better that,” said Chia.
Lim, who retired from playing on the LPGA in 2008 after a career spanning ten years, now devotes her time to developing junior golfers at her own academy in Glenmarie Golf & Country Club.
Since returning to Malaysia, she has also lent her coaching expertise to the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association’s (MALGA) Queen Sirikit Cup in recent years, helping them to a tied fifth finish in the 2016 edition held in Korea.
“I am pleasantly surprised and truly honoured on having an award named after me. It’s always nice to receive recognition for the work that you have put in on-and-off the course,” said Lim, whose best finish on the LPGA was second at the Kelloggs Classic in 2004.
“As this golf in this country progresses with the likes of Gavin Kyle Green, Kelly Tan and Michelle Koh bursting onto the international scene, it is good to see a constant wave of junior golfers emerging and I take pride in being personally involved in developing and inspiring these new generation of golfers.”
The MYFutures Junior Tour is jointly sponsored by Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia, MahSing Group, Koh & I (M) Trading Sdn Bhd, FarFrontier Energy Services and Srixon Sports Asia. The founding partners of the Tour include Titleist, Templer Park Country Club and The ClubHouse.