Good form reaps rich rewards


  • Golf
  • Sunday, 27 Feb 2022

Malaysia’s Natasha Andrea Oon is now 21st in the world amateur rankings compiled by the R&A and the USGA.

THERE was some good movement up the World Amateur Golf Rankings released this week for Malaysia’s leading players.

In the men’s and women’s sections, Malaysia’s top ranked Khavish Varman Varadan and Natasha Andrea Oon both climbed 15 places to career-bests, on the back of decent results on the American collegiate circuits.

Khavish moved up to a personal best 143rd in the world after a fourth place finish last week at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate Championship in Mobile, Alabama.

This was a good improvement on last year’s showing when he finished in 17th place. Khavish shot rounds of 67, 70 and 73 for a 210 total at Magnolia Grove Crossings Golf Course, where Nick Robillard triumphed with a 205 total.

At the Sea Best Invitational at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida a couples of weeks ago, his only other (points) counting event this year, Khavish finished in 15th place.

Second best-placed Malaysian in the men’s category, Ervin Chang, dropped a rung to 325th, without registering any points, but Bryan Wiyang Teoh did go up to 411th, with six spots gained this week.

There was a lot more activity in the Malaysian women’s rankings, where Natasha climbed to a personal beat 21st in the world and Ashley Lau Jen Wen moved up to a career best 45th with a win.

Audrey Tan finished third at the Tulane Classic and moved up to a career best 172nd in the world rankings.Audrey Tan finished third at the Tulane Classic and moved up to a career best 172nd in the world rankings.

Repeated efforts to get confirmation from the national governing body, the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA), that Natasha’s ranking was right up there and maybe the best ever by any Malaysian, proved unsuccessful.

She finished third in the Lamkin San Diego Invitational at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, California. It was a telling performance that came on the back of rounds of 69, 72 and 74 for a 215 total. It left her four strokes off champion Rachel Heck, who climbed to second in the world standings, behind compatriot Rose Zhang.

Ashley moved to her best ranking yet with victory in the Tulane Classic at English Turn Golf and Country Club in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she shared the title with Indonesia’s Patricia Sinolungan and had her compatriot Audrey Tan Wei Yen round out the top-three.

The leading two both carded 221 totals, with Ashley signing for rounds of 74, 76 and 71 and Patricia 76, 69 and 76.

Audrey took third place, finishing just one stroke adrift of the winners. She shot 76, 69 and 77 for a 222 total.

A senior administrator and long-time golfer at a Klang Valley club applauded the progress been made by the Malaysian youth based in the US.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said this was what made the country proud and added that he was saddened to note that the MGA would not come out and recognize the achievements of the up-and-coming players.

“They (the MGA) are the national association, supposedly overseeing golf and its development in the country, and should be the first to recognize the achievements of all in the game, including our amateurs who are winning tournaments overseas and playing well, and making progress climbing up the word rankings.

“It is sad to see this happening now because it never used to be like this,” he added.

Indeed, efforts to get comment from the national association last month on a few other topics, including the general state of the local golf industry, what some perceive as a lack of junior development and queries on the absence of a national coach, have yet to be responded to.

Of particular to interest to some, is the financial standing of the association – something which is expected to generate much debate at their annual general meeting this year, where a few senior positions will be contested.

Details of this have been sought from the national association.

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