Royal Lake Club snooker tourney back after four-year break


By CY LEE

Royal Lake Club general committee member Elizabeth Tan (third from left) with Lee (fifth from left) and other organising committee members.

THE Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur are looking to up their game at this weekend’s Malaysia Day Inter-Club Snooker Tournament as they welcome local and foreign participants to the event.

Coming back after a four-year hiatus, the snooker section is rearing to restart its inter-club tournament, usually held at the end of August to coincide with National Day.

While more foreign teams usually take part, this year sees just three participants from overseas, namely the Singapore Cricket Club, Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC) and RBSC Polo Club.

Local participants include the Penang Sports Club, Old Frees' Association, Royal Ipoh Club, Royal Selangor Club, Royal Lake Club, Raintree Club of Kuala Lumpur, Negri Sembilan Chinese Recreation Club and the Royal Port Dickson Yacht Club.

Organising committee chairman Sunny Lee said they decided to host it over the Malaysia Day weekend (Sept 16-18) for a change.

“It will be an interesting year as we are playing the six-red format with the 'foul and a miss' rule for the first time,” Lee said.

The rule dictates that the referee can decide if a player has not made their best attempt to strike a ball and replace balls to their original positions so another attempt may be made.

“The organising committee has also allowed former national players to participate this year, but they must be full members of their respective clubs.

“It would be tough to name the favourites to win because of the format and 'foul and a miss' rule,” Lee added.

“Unfortunately, some of the local teams from Sabah and Sarawak were not able to join us but we maintain a reciprocal relationship with all the past and current (participants).”

The committee has taken every effort to provide the most conducive setting for the tournament with upgraded playing surfaces, heating elements, lighting and qualified referees.

The 12 teams will go through a group stage to qualify for the championship pool or the plate pool before going head-to-head in a knockout format.

Committee member Michael Chong said the tournament was a good opportunity for players to make up for lost time playing a game they love.

“The format allows those that do not reach the top two places of their group to also get more games out of their participation,” he added.

The teams will be playing for a share of the RM6,000 prize pool as well as commemorative trophies.

“This is the largest amount we have seen so far, and the winners will take home RM3,000," Chong said.

Among the players to look out for this year are Sebastian H'ng from Penang Sports Club as well as Singapore Cricket Club’s Glenn Yeo, who represents his country in billiards.

One of Lake Club’s team captains Cheong W Loong said they hoped to get a good result as the players have been committed to the game for a long time.

“There is a culture of trying to outdo each other to see who is the best. With the storied past of each club’s snooker section, there is also a lot to play for in a way.

“However, at the end of the day, the tournament really is about fellowship and keeping the sport alive within private clubs.”

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