A MONTH ago, the battle for honours was decided with the overall champions showing excellent command on overall standings in the SportExcel-NSC-Milo-NSI-MGA Malaysian Junior Premier-Elite Golf Circuit.
And the budding golfers are set to continue their fight for supremacy in the SportExcel Junior Open Golf Circuit over the year-end school holiday.
SportExcel executive director Teng Mui Ngee said the premier-elite tournaments only cater to the top junior golfers and only 65 participants took part in last month’s grand finals.
“We introduced the event for the cream of the crop two years ago. The idea was to create opportunities for the emerging golfers to compete regularly because our junior open tournaments are only hosted during the school holidays. We felt that we needed to fill the gap in between to keep them on their toes. We are grateful for the support from the golf clubs that allow us to host one-day premier-elite meets over the weekend. It has proved to be a success with several young talents showing good progress and moving up the ranks,” he added.
For the premier-elite competition, the overall winners in five categories – boys’ and girls' Under-Eight, boys’ and girls’ Under-12, girls’ Under-18, boys’ Under-15 and boys’ Under-18 – displayed their consistency over five legs, accumulating respectable high scores on the final overall standings.
Former Under-12 champion Chan Tuck Soon from Bangi showed nerves of steel and extended his good run in his first year competing in the boys’ Under-15 section when he claimed the overall victory.
Stocky Chan only lost by one stroke to Singaporean Chua Yuan Ming of Pro Tour Eagle in the grand finals.
The 11-handicapper Chan carded a score of 73 over a round of 18-hole at the Monterez Golf & Country Club.
“Usually, young golfers will find it difficult putting up a fight against elder competitors in their first year moving up to the next age-group. At only 13 years, he (Chan) adapted and coped well because he is very strong physically,” said Teng.
In contrast, the boys’ and girls’ Under-12 category provided the stiffest challenge with Joshua Foo of Royal Pahang staying ahead in the race for title against Staffield’s Mohammad Asyraaf Rosli by only three points.
Foo chalked up 458 points for the overall win.
Meanwhile, the junior open calendar resumed with four rounds in the northern region.
After the first five rounds and five months break in between, budding golfers swung into action with the sixth leg at the Gunung Raya Golf Resort in Langkawi (Nov 19-20) followed by Darulaman Golf and Country Club, Alor Star (Nov 22-23), Penang Golf Resort (Nov 26-27) and Clearwater Sanctuary, Ipoh (Nov 29-30).
Prior to the Ambank Group-Cross Creek grand finals scheduled at the Rahman Putra Golf Club from Dec 17 to 19, the two other legs in the Klang Valley will be held at Kelab Golf Negara Subang (Dec 3-4) and Kelab Rekreasi Tentera Udara (Dec 6-7).
A total of 125 participants including about 50 foreign entries will be in the fray for the two-day grand finals running simultaneously with the three-day international tournament.
The grand finals’ winners will be decided over two rounds of 18-hole while the international tournament is based on three rounds.
Champions for the grand finals will be rewarded with a playing trip to the Thai Junior Golf Open next year.
“They (AmBank) have increased their commitment for their second consecutive year supporting the grand finals. In addition, they are interested in offering personal sponsorship to outstanding young talent as an incentive to inspire them to do well,” said Teng.
The Malaysian Ladies Golf Association (MALGA) is also expected to scout for 15 junior trainees to join their squad next season at the meet.