Record Malaysian turnout at Pattaya junior meet

The Junior Golf Malaysia team at the official opening ceremony of the Truevisions International Junior Championships in Pattaya

Pattaya [THAILAND]: Malaysia has created history at the TrueVisions International Junior Golf Championships with a turnout of 56 players – a record high in the tournament’s 17-year history.

The record was made possible by a 43-strong contingent by Junior Golf Malaysia – a voluntary initiative spearheaded by a group of dedicated golfing parents with multi-racial participation from across Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak.

From organising travel as well as accommodation and logistic arrangements to ensuring minor details such as ensuring yardage books and matching apparels are provided, the effort has streamlined the cost for many – making the tournament accessible for a growing group of junior golfers.

“This is a pioneering project led by parents with the hope of providing more high-level playing opportunities for our juniors. The success of this endeavour after many months of planning lays a good foundation for parents to join hands and build a platform for our children to develop and excel,” said Rohizam Md Yusoff, one of the key movers behind this initiative.

“Our end goal is that by traveling and staying together, we are able to cultivate team spirit and togetherness among the juniors and their parents. Junior golf can be a quite an individualistic and selfish pursuit but it is our belief that by working collectively as a team, we can unroot more world-class golfers in the future,” he noted, adding that the initiative received the blessings of the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA).

Hosted by the Thailand Junior Golf Federation (TJGF), the four-day tournament, which will begin tomorrow at the Waterside Course of the prestigious Siam Country Club has attracted a field of 181 players from 17 countries.

“We are truly delighted by the big turnout from our neighbours Malaysia. This development bodes well for the long-standing friendship between junior golf fraternities in both countries as well as the advancement of junior golf in Malaysia. We wish all the participants from Malaysia the very best this week and hope they enjoy their stay in Pattaya,” said tournament vice-chair Associate Professor Irawan Panitvong.

The tournament has produced an illustrious list of world-class professionals, namely world number 28 Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who is featuring at The Masters Tournament in Augusta this week.

Asian Tour winners Poom Saksansin and Rattanon Wannasrichan, who also tasted success at the championships as junior golfers, graced the opening ceremony on Monday.

The ClubHouse – a strong advocate for junior golf in Malaysia – has provided a set of uniforms and golf balls for the Junior Golf Malaysia team members. The ClubHouse’s chief golf writer Edward Saminathan is serving as their team captain this week.