Amateur meet in limbo

Alyaa Abdulghany is Malaysia’s top ranked amateur player – and by some way.

THE Covid-19 pandemic might yet scupper another of the Malaysian Golf Association’s (MGA) plans – to arrange a get together for the country leading amateur players before the year’s end.

The national association, cognizant of the fact that several overseas-based amateurs in the country now (something else brought about by the pandemic) were in the throes of organising a meeting of their leading players before the clampdown halted their progress.

What remains now is a small window in the best part of December, and even that might not be enough to pull it off.

The recent extension of the conditional Movement Control Order announced by the government comes to an end on Dec 6.

With this realisation MGA president Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor (R) told TeeUp that their next course of action would be determined by what comes next from the health authorities, and whether the CMCO would be relaxed.

“It was our intention to bring together the leading amateurs, because, as you know, there are a number of players, including some of those from our elite programme that are presently in the country. But there is also now nothing else we can do about this, but wait for direction from the health authorities, ” he said.

“It would have been a good chance for us to have the players together and share with them in more one-on-one environment what we plan, in light of the pandemic.”

Local tournament golf has been put on hold in view of Covid-19 and a travel ban, in and out of the country – apart from essential travel – is also in place.

With this the opportunities to earn valuable world amateur ranking points has been severely disrupted.

However, the world governing bodies, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA), issued a statement earlier in the year, saying that their “team will continue to monitor the volume of elite amateur events over the coming months.

“In order to remain ranked, the period over which a player needs to attain four points from a counting event will be extended until the end of 2021. This will ensure players can remain ranked even when they are unable to compete in elite amateur events this year, ” they added.

As things stand, Alyaa Abdulghany is Malaysia’s top-ranked amateur player – men or women. She slipped four rungs to 33 on the World Amateur Rankings with an average points tally of 1095.2.

Trailing the Women’s US Amateur semi-finalist is Natasha Andrea Oon, unchanged in 59th spot on 1009.4 points. Mirabel Ting Ern Hui, who climbed three steps up, is third in 218th and with 836.2, while Winnie Ng Yu Xuan is 318th with 788.4 points and Jeneath Wong, with 770.8 points, is 356th in the world standings.

Winnie and Jeneath moved up to career-highs, gaining eight and one place, respectively.

In the men’s rankings, Ervin Chang is the best-placed Malaysian. With career best 54th he is now 258th with 795.1 points and slipped another three places in this week’s update.

Galven Kendall Green moved up eight slots to 392 for his career best high with 750.5 points, while Rhaasrikanesh Kanavathi dropped two rungs to 450th with 734.6 points.

Not far back, is Bryan Wiyang Teoh in 456th place on 733.7. That is his best yet and so too is Marcus Lim Pang Chuen’s 507th standing in the WAGR with 720.7 points.

The rankings based one two-revolving calculation, which could sometimes mean that even if a player was not in action that week their ranking could change.

At the top of the men’s rankings, Davis Thompson, with 1227.3 points, overtook American compatriot Ricky Castillo to assume the number one spot.

In the women’s rankings, American Rose Zhang remains number one with 1417.9 points, 44 ahead of France’s Pauline Roussin-Bouchard.

The biggest move in the men’s rankings came from China’s Wang Zi who climbed 1,707 places to 1,365th after finishing second in two successive tournaments at home.

In the women’s section, Yahui Zhang of China rocketed 1,048 places up the world standings to 628th after her victory in the National Amateur Tour Leg 4 on home soil.

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