Isza lifts NS title to deny Singaporean clean sweep

Seremban, Negeri Sembilan; May 29: Isza Fariza Ismail saved the nation’s blushes after emerging victorious in the ladies division at the three-day Negeri Sembilan Amateur Open which concluded today.

The 17-year-old Isza withheld a stiff challenge from Singaporean duo Kok Jo Ee and Koh Sock Hwee to card a final round best of one-over 73 at the Seremban International Golf Club to take the title by two shots with a tournament total of six-over-par 212. Kok was second on 224 while Koh took third place one 225.

In the men’s division, Jerome Ng overtook overnight leader and stablemate Marc Ong to the crown, closing with 73 for a three-day total of  two-under-par 214. One stroke adrift in second was Joshua Shou, who registered a round of three-under-par 69 today to push Ong to third place on countback, to complete a Singaporean 1-2-3.

Isza, who began the day with a slender one shot lead over the duo, admitted to feeling the pressure after  Kok leveled the deficit at the turn and went ahead on the 10th. “It was quite tough out there as both Jo Ee and her teammate (Koh) were breathing down my neck. They played really well but I got my break at the 15th when I managed to square back and from then on, I just maintained a conservative rhythm,” she said.

Despite encountering a rough patch on the eighth and ninth where he missed short putts in a row, Ng nonetheless eased to a four-stroke victory after a final round collapse by his compatriot Ong, who finished badly with a 80. “Didn’t set myself any targets and I just set about enjoying my round of golf. It’s always great to be playing on the final group as always and I’m happy that I stayed at the present and continued to press on,” said the 22-year-old from Seletar Golf Club.

Seremban International Golf Club captain and Malaysian Golf Association vice-president Dato’ Hj Mohd Yaacob Kassim announced during the prize presentation that Ng will be extended an amateur invite to the US$160,000 Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational set for July 7-10 at the club.

Leading final round scores (Malaysian unless otherwise indicated)

Men’s Division
214 Jerome Ng (SIN) 69-71-74
218 Joshua Shou (SIN) 74-75-69; Marc Ong (SIN) 69-69-80
219 Muhammad Wafiyuddin 69-69-80
220 Kenneth de Silva 73-74-72
222 Faizul Hafiz Zulkefli 76-72-74
223 Kenji Cheung (SIN) 70-77-76
224 Jeremiah Kim 74-74-76
227 Mohd Azman Basharudin 81-71-75
228 Paul San 78-76-74

Ladies’ division
222 Isza Fariza Ismail 76-73-73
224 Kok Jo Ee (SIN) 77-73-74
225 Koh Sock Hwee (SIN) 79-71-75
229 Nur Durriyah Damian 73-77-79
231 Yin May Myo (MYA) 78-76-77
232 Aretha Pan Herng 75-76-81
234 Sarfina Seretharan 76-78-80; Amelia Yong (SIN) 78-73-83
237 Loy HeeYing 79-78-80
238 Lim Jia Yi (SIN) 80-78-80