LOCAL golf fans are in for a good dose of exciting competition between some of the best amateur talents drawn from the Asia-Pacific region over the next few weeks.
Starting on May 2, the MPI Generali Saujana Amateur Championship will take centre stage in Shah Alam, Selangor, before the 116th Malaysian Amateur Open is held at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Golf & Country Club (SAAS GCC) from May 10.
In both instances, the fields will feature top caliber players hoping to make an impression and earn valuable world amateur ranking points to bolster their status.
The MPI Generali Saujana Amateur Championship and the Malaysian Amateur Open are sanctioned by the R&A, the sport’s world governing body for associations outside of North America.
For this reason, these two tournaments have enjoyed almost unmatched support from the leading players in the region.
Indeed, some of those who have participated have gone on to make a name for themselves on the world stage.
The recent celebrated success of Malaysians in the MPI Generali Saujana Amateur Championship have been Gavin Green’s triumphs in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and Daeng Abdul Rahman’s victory in 2015.
This year again there will be a formidable field assembled at Saujana, each player bent on emerging with the honours and a title that will sit nicely on his mantelpiece.
Tournament director, Razlan Alias, who is also Saujana golf manager, said things were looking bright for the event and added that the Bungu Raya course, one of two layouts at the club, was in a fine nick.
“This 6,940-yard course was completely renovated and upgraded in 2012,” said Razlan. “And right now, it’s in fine shape and should prove to be a very good test of character and skill for the players.
“A lot of the players who come each season are some of the best in the region, which is why the quality of golf and level of competition is so high.
“It’s never easy to win here and those who do are worthy of their status as champions,” added Razlan, who has nearly 15 years experience in the golf industry.
He added that they expected Malaysia’s toughest competition to come from the Thai, Australian and New Zealand contingents.
The winner will receive an invitation to play an Asian Development Tour.
The leading local candidates for the crown in the Malaysian Amateur Open will include Galven Kendall Green, Muhd Afif Fathi, Zubair Firdaus and Victor Ng, among others. And they too will have their work cut out for them.
Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Golf & Country Club general manager James Thevarasu said their course, likewise, was in good condition and that they looked forward to hosting an exciting event.
“A lot of work has been done to prepare the layout as best as we could,” he said. “And right now it is in good condition. It should also prove a good challenge for these top amateurs.”
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