THE Prudential Astro Masters grand final in Phnom Penh brought the curtain down on one of Malaysia’s premier amateur golf tournaments and was characterised by close finishes, something relished by the top payers.
When the counting was done after the two-day competition at Grand Phnom Penh Golf Club and Garden City Golf Club, Mohd Hezri Md. Hasan emerged as the champion, winning the gross title by a single stroke.
The two-handicapper signed for an even-par 144 total and left scratch player Jung Young Guk to settle for second place, while Chang Thean Siang, who also played off a two, was third with a 146.
It was an excellent performance by Mohd Hezri, an airline pilot, who said afterwards: “I am very happy to have won but also a little surprised.
“Playing against some of the best amateur golfers in the country is always a daunting task. And my best memories of this event will my final round in which I shot a 70,” said Mohd Hezri, who has been playing golf for the last 11 years.
“Playing in the same flight with strong players like Jung Young Guk and Jimmy Chia in the final round was also an awesome experience and to come out ahead of them was a bit special and it, of course, makes me proud indeed.”
The champion added: “This was my second visit to Phnom Penh and I must say that the golf courses were in great shape. The Garden City Golf Club, in particular was really nice to play on.”
The nett title went to eight-handicapper Siw Tong Larm, who finished with a two-day 135 total.
Mustaffa Yusof, playing off a 15 handicap, carded a 138 for second place, while four-handicapper George Wee Yoke Boon was third with a 142 nett.
“It was great experience here in Phnom Penh and to have won the nett category made it all the more sweeter,” said Tong Larm.
“But more than anything else, the tournament was wonderful and well organised. It was a good platform to meet other golfers and make new friends.
“It is great to be able to participate in the grand finals and I truly enjoyed playing at Garden City, especially so as I made six birdies and one eagle on the day,” added Tong Larm.
In a break from tradition, the prize presentation dinner was held at Hard Rock Cafe Phnom Penh. And with this, organising chairman P. Jeganathan recognised the support the annual event receives and thanked the sponsors and congratulated the winners.
“Congratulations to go to all the worthy champions and winners in the respective categories of the grand final, and those throughout the qualifying rounds.
“The tournament went off smoothly, thanks to the support of our sponsors and we would like to make special mention of and say thank you to the people of Phnom Penh, who were so hospitable throughout our stay in Cambodia,” said Jeganathan.
“This year’s Prudential Astro Masters clearly shows us once again that golf brings people of all walks of life together.
“As organisers of the event and with our sponsors, we are committed to enhancing the tournament and aim to take it to another level in 2019.
“We will continue to help grow the game of golf through our platform and do our best to ensure that’s the number one amateur series in Malaysia.”
Among the many highlights at the presentation ceremony was the Titoni grand lucky draw that had a dress watch worth RM5,000 on offer.
And it was Mohd Harull Sauren who won it. He also captured the Nearest-to-Line novelty prize.
“I am very happy because this is the first time in my life that I have won a grand lucky draw prize,” said Mohd Harull. “And now this Titoni timepiece is the most expensive watch that I have. I love you so much Astro Masters and thank you,” he declared.
Too leave his imprint on the tournament Kamaruzaman Kamarudin bombed his tee shot 308 yards and was duly rewarded with the longest drive prize.
This year’s sponsors and marketing partners of the tournament included Panasonic, Malindo Air, The Star, Bestour & Travel, Titoni, Bridgestone Golf, CrestLink, Delsey Luggage, Vin Golf, Nu-prep, 100 Plus, Golf Malaysia, Smart Investor, The Edge, Sunplay, Jake’s Charbroil, Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, Fresh & White, Spectrum Outdoor, Cowa Coconut Water, Carlsberg Smooth Draught, Active Guard, Astro SuperSport, Nu Nature, Munchy’s, Black & White and Macallan.
1. Mohd Hezri Md Hassan (2) 144
2. Jung Young Guk (0) 145
3. Chang Thean Siang (2) 146
1. Siw Tong Larm (8) 135
2. Mustaffa Yusof (15) 138
3. George Wee Yoke Boon (4) 142
Guest category (nett)
1. Hasnata Hasan (142 )
2. Ikhlas Abdul Rahman (143)
3. Henry Low Kar Onn (144)
Mohd Harull Sauren
Ng Sze Chong
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