Juniors Afif, Qistina victorious at Templer Park

(L to R) Templer Park Country Club general manager Manibalan Kutty, F&N Beverages corporate affairs manager Cariessa Goh, Afif, Qistina and MGA president Senator Admiral (R) Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor ©Mike Casper|TCH

Rawang [SELANGOR]: Muhammad Afif Mohd Fathi put behind a disappointing Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) campaign to pick up resume-boosting victory at the 100Plus Malaysian Junior Open on Wednesday.

The 16-year-old from Selangor staved off a determined final round charge by national stablemate Galven Kendall Green, grinding out a second successive one-under 71 to finish two strokes clear at the demanding Templer Park Country Club.

Afif, who had held at least a share of the lead after an opening 68, totalled six-under 210 – thanks to a solid putting display, which yielded four birdies against three bogeys on the final day.

Six strokes off the lead at the start, Green fired a brilliant five-under 67 to leap into second alongside US-based junior Khavish Varman Varadan (70).

Joint overnight leader Lim Beng Keat of Miri stumbled under pressure, posting a two-over 74 to tie for fourth with SUKMA gold medallist Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz (71).

Meanwhile, Qistina Balqis Azhar claimed a runaway victory in the girls’ division, returning with her third straight 71 for a wire-to-wire win in the 11th edition of the nation’s premier junior competition.

Despite a shaky start with two bogeys inside four holes, Qistina regained her composure with three back-to-back birdies from the fifth to make the turn on 35. Another bogey on the tenth was followed by an eagle three on the par-five 12th, which all but sealed an impressive three-under 213 overall.

Nur Syazani Amalia Mohd Shahzan (78) was 12 strokes behind in second with Zulaikah Nurziana Nasser (76) a further two strokes adrift in third.

Leading final results (Par-72) >
210 – Muhd Afif Mohd Fathi 68-71-71
212 – Galven Kendall Green 72-73-67, Khavish Varman Varadan 72-70-70
213 – Daeng Abdul Rahman Abd Aziz 70-72-71, Lim Beng Keat 69-70-74
218 – Chan Kai Zhane 74-74-70, Aaerishna Shahsthy Balakrishnan 73-73-72
219 – Lee Chong Li 74-71-74
224 – Yong Fatt Hoe 78-76-70
225 – Louis Tee (SIN) 70-83-72
226 – Mohd Zafran Abdullah 74-75-77
227 – Tommy Tan (SIN) 72-79-76
229 – Rio Wong Lei Yoong (SIN) 72-80-77
230 – Victor Ng Yu Kai 80-75-75, Zubair Firdaus 76-76-78

213 – Qistina Balqis Azhar 71-71-71
225 – Nur Syazani Amalia Shahzan 74-73-78
227 – Zulaikah Nurziana Nasser 78-73-76
229 – Jocelyn Chee Yi Min 84-71-74
231 – Liyana Durisic 79-79-73
232 – Aykary Wynn Htun (MYN) 78-81-73
236 – Angel Hii 78-81-77
237 – Vinisha Gunaseelan 81-77-79
241 – Megan Lee Zehui 80-79-82, Sonya Akhter (BAN) 81-80-80
242 – Nicole Mok (HKG) 82-84-76