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Tuesday December 25, 2012

The year that Tiger ruled

Watch it go: Woods clearing the ball from the rough at 6th hole during the final round of CIMB Classic. Watch it go: Woods clearing the ball from the rough at 6th hole during the final round of CIMB Classic.

SPORTS enthusiasts in the Klang Valley were treated to some entertaining and exciting events this year.

It was the year for golf fans. The legendary Tiger Woods made a return to Malaysia in the CIMB-Classic at the Mines Resort and Golf Club in Seri Kembangan. Like a Pied Piper, Woods lured the fans to the golf resort.

There were some big names but in the end it was fellow American Nick Watney, the world No. 22, who triumphed with a 22-under 262 (71-65-65-61).

The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club also proved to be a success. The championship had all four 2012 Major winners as well as the world’s top 10 players lining up on the first day.

But in the end, South Korea’s Park Inbee carded a 15-under 269 to win the prestigious title by two strokes. The other notable names were Choi Na Yeon, Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen, Ai Miyazato, Paula Creamer, Sandra Gal and Yani Tseng.

It was also good to see the LPGA stars help create awareness about breast cancer and raise about RM800,000 for the Cancer Research Initiative Foundation (Carif) at a charity gala dinner.

The Sultan of Selangor’s Cup, held at the Shah Alam Stadium, was also an exciting affair. About 70,000 fans had flocked the stadium. Local artistes Ziana Zain and Awie entertained the crowd with their latest songs. There were also fireworks display as well as performance by about 500 students.

Singapore, who had won the three previous competitions, found the going tough and fell to 3-1 defeat to Selangor.

Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin had initiated the competition in 2001 to foster better relations between Selangor and Singapore. It was then known as the Regent of Selangor Cup. With the coronation of the Sultan in 2003, the competition was renamed as the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup.

For Kelantan it was a memorable season. They grabbed all three titles — FA Cup, Super League and Malaysia Cup — at stake in the M-League. The Malaysia Cup final between Kelantan and Armed Forces was played in a packed Shah Alam Stadium. With the backing of their fans, Kelantan won 3-2.

There was mixed response for the AFF Suzuki Cup. The fans in the Klang Valley were rooting for Malaysia to win the Cup again. Malaysia, coach K. Rajagopal, started their title defence on the wrong footing. The Harimau Malaya lost 0-3 to Singapore. Eventually Malaysia qualified for the semi-finals but lost 1-3 to Thailand in the two legs.

The running scene was lively with half marathons and 10km runs in the Klang Valley.

The Star together with the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) organised the PJ Half Marathon. Considered as the pioneer 21km run in the country, the response for the PJ Half Marathon was overwhelming. Runners came from all over the country to be part of the half marathon.

The Football Association of Selangor (FAS) league, with three divisions — Super, Premier and Division One — was also an exciting affair in the Klang Valley.

The league, with almost 96 teams, was competitive with the knock-out FA Cup competition. Emkay-NPNG won the Super Division for the fourth season while Cemerlang were the FA Cup champions.

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