JOHOR BAHRU: The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) will foot the expense for a seven-strong team at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia as part of a long-term plan to groom a formidable line-up for the 2019 Manila South East Asia (SEA) Games.
MGA vice-president and newly-minted national team sub-committee chairman CC Boo noted that despite limited financial resources, the association felt it was only right that the country was represented at the elite regional meet.
“Golf is not considered a medal hope, hence the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) will not be funding our participation. MGA believes our boys and girls should be given the opportunity to gain much needed experience by playing against some of the region’s best and hence, we will personally fund their trip to Jakarta under Category B,” said Boo.
The squad was selected based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), with priority given to players who have existing national team agreements with the association.
The men’s team will headlined by Liberty University sophomore Chang Ervin, who will be joined by three exciting young talents, namely Adam Arif Madzri, Rhaasrikanesh Kanavathi as well as Muhd Afif Mohd Fathi, who finished an impressive fifth individually at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Golf Team Championship for the Nomura Cup last year.
The ladies trio will include seasoned junior winners in Ashley Lau Jen Wen, Natasha Andrea Oon and Winnie Ng Yu Xuan.
Boo added that while the juniors were not expected to challenge for medals on paper, the association will nonetheless set a modest target for both the squad.
“One of our biggest challenge is that most of our best amateurs are based in the United States and not everyone is available for selection. However, we feel that the Asiad will be a good avenue for MGA to blood these up-and-coming players as we continue to strengthen our national team, he added.
The Asiad golf competition will be staged at the Pondok Indah Kapuk course of the Damai Indah Golf & Country Club in South Jakarta from August 21-24.