SCRATCH player Lam Kong Foo won the 2019 Astro Masters grand final and it was a deserved triumph that brought the curtain down on an eventful tournament series.
Lam claimed the gross title in Taiwan, just as he did in the first round of the qualifiers. The 48-year-old saw off the challenge of a field that comprised the 22 finalists, doing battle in the two-day showdown at Sunrise Golf & Country Club and then Ta Shee Golf & Country Club.
He shot a four-over 148 total – carding rounds 76 on the first day and an even-par 72 on the second.
Understandably delighted with his win, Lam said: “This win is amazing. I never imagined that one day I would become
the Astro Masters champion. I am very, very happy.”
A participant in the grand finals in 2005,2007,2009 and 2017, Lam came good in Taiwan, even if he did struggle in the first round. But then again, it was not easy for the field as a whole, given that it was played in cold and windy conditions at Sunrise Golf & Country Club.
There was a marked improvement in the weather on the second day and that was generally reflected in the scores, more so Lam’s, which propelled him to victory.
His second round was highlighted by two birdies that came at the 1st hole and the last. It was a performance good enough to deny Wong Hong Nung of the title by two shots in the gross category.
For his efforts, Lam was presented with a Panasonic 49-inch Ultra HD Smart LED TV, a one-year Tropicana Golf & Country Resort term membership and the champion’s trophy by Hew Su Yen of Astro Malaysia.
Wong, playing off a three handicap and gross champion of the tournament in 2017,
did have something to celebrate after he won the nett category, registering a two-day 144 total.
A former professional golfer and national football player, Wong received a Srixon Z585 driver, an Aldila Quaranta golf club shaft and the nett champion’s trophy.
“I came close (to winning the gross category) but it was not to be. A better player beat me to the title but I still had reason to celebrate. In the circumstances, the nett title is recognition of my efforts.
“In tough conditions on the first day I led the tournament with a three-over 75. In the second round I shot another 75 and it was not enough for the overall title. But the nett trophy will do just good for me – I’m happy with that, ” said Wong.
The Guest category honours went to Utusan Malaysia’s Imran Mohd Nor. A seven-handicapper, Imran won on countback with a two-day 139.
In the novelty contests, Lam came through again – claiming the Longest Drive after he smashed his tee shot 285 yards down the fairway. He won an Aldila NV Touring golf shaft for that single shot.
The Sure-to-Win, or Nearest-to-Pin, prize went to Tan Peng Juan of Sabah. His ball came to rest 6ft 3in from the flagstick.
Eric Foo Hwa Peng was indeed lucky fellow when he won the grand lucky draw – a RM6,000 Titoni timepiece.
The partners of this year’s tournament included, among others, Panasonic, Prudential, Srixon, Mazda, Malindo Air, Titoni, CrestLink, 100Plus, VinGolf, Aldila, Golf Malaysia, Jake’s Charbroil Steaks, XXIO and Carlsberg Smooth Draught.
This was the 22nd Astro Masters grand final, which has also been held in
Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Oman, China and Cambodia.
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