FOUR more players booked their tickets to the Astro Masters grand final in Taipei, Taiwan this September, following the qualifying rounds at Orna Golf & Country Club in Melaka and Shan Shui Golf & Country Club in Tawau, Sabah, and deservedly so.
With the gross and nett champions of each qualifier earning automatic entry into the grand finale, Nuralif Mohd Zahari and Ashrul Affendi Minghat came out tops at Orna, while Tan Peng Juan and Roslan Mustamin prevailed at Shan Shui.
Local knowledge proved decisive for Nuralif who won the gross title at Orna with a three-over 75. The two-handicapper had three birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey on his card.
“It is great to be back as a grand finalist. I first qualified three years ago for Pattaya and finished third there,” said the 22-year-old, who is a regular at Melaka amateur tournaments.
“My irons were solid and my approach shots were sweet but
I made a mistake on the last hole where I finished up with a double-bogey.”
Ashrul emerged as the nett champion. The nine-handicapper carded a nett 67 and said, “I am happy to have qualified after six tries. And now I am excited and looking forward to the trip to Taiwan.
“My chipping was in the groove and after a few holes on the first nine, I felt that I had a chance to win,” he added.
The A Medal honours went to eight-handicapper Jasmi Mohd Noor on countback. He shot a four-under nett 68.
Goo Wei Yong (12 h’cp) won the B Medal with a 67 nett, while the C Medal had the top-three finish with identical 67s. After the countback, Mohd Yusaa (18) was declared the winner.
At Shan Shui, eight-handicapper Tan Peng Juan was crowned the gross champion. The 45-year-old from Kota Kinabalu signed for a five-over-par 77. He had two birdies, five bogeys and a double-bogey on his card.
“This victory was unexpected because I last played in Shan Shui four years ago,” said Tan, who has been playing golf for the past 20 years.
“I participated in this qualifying round only because I love the course, and another reason was to come here with my buddies and have a great time.”
“This was only my second qualifying round appearance in the Astro Masters, and I am looking forward to playing in Taiwan for the first time in my life,” added the businessman.
Local knowledge proved a key factor too for nett champion and Tawau resident Roslan, a member of Shan Shui.
Based on the tournament’s unique rules of a five-under nett cap, the 17-handicapper won on countback with a nett 67.
“I feel very lucky to have qualified for my first grand final, and to be visiting Taiwan for the first time,” said Roslan, 40.
“The win is all the more satisfying as I did not participate last year.”
The A Medal was won by Zainal Amiruddin (14) with a nett 68, while Asmahudi Ahmad (19) won the B Medal title on countback, also with a 67 nett.
The C Medal saw the top-three finish with identical 67 totals. Abdul Hassan Jakiluddin (24)clinched the honours with a nett 67.
Orna Golf & Country Club
Gross champion: Nuralif Mohd Zahari (2) 75.
Nett champion: Ashrul Affendi Minghat (9) 67.
A Medal: 1 Jasmi Mohd Nor (8) 68ocb, 2 Lim Beng Hor (8) 68, 3 WaiKaMeng (7) 70
B Medal: 1 Goo Wei Yong (12) 67, 2 Roseman Hassan (12) 70ocb, 3 Johanee Rahman (14) 70ocb.
C Medal: 1 Mohd Yusaa (18) 67ocb, 2 Mohd Khairuddin A. Rahman (22) 67ocb 3 Mohd Nazri Mahat (22) 67ocb.
Shan Shui Golf & Country Club
Gross champion: Tan Peng Juan (8) 77.
Nett champion: Roslan Mustamin (17) 67ocb.
A Medal: 1 Haji Zainal Amiruddin (14) 68, 2 Tony Jong Shun Leong (12) 69, 3 Abdul Rashid Abdul Majid (14) 70.
B Medal: 1 Asmahudi Ahmad (19) 67ocb, 2 Armansyah Abdullah (15) 69ocb, 3 Tamari Tompong (15) 69ocb.
C Medal: 1 Abdul Hassan Jakiluddin (24) 67, 2 DatuNorlin DatuUgoh (24) 68ocb, 3 Abdul Rahman Kalmin (24) 68ocb.
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