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DRIVER LOVE. 02.03.12

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GIVE US A BREAK THE TEAM Chief Golf Writer Edward Saminathan Sub-Editors Lina Abdul Wahab, Khalidah Jamil Evelyn Gan Contributors Andrew Myles, Bradford Walterhouse , Jason Winter, Justine Moss, Mark Bates, Normas Yakin, Richard Fellner, Scott Kramer, Shaun Moulds Official Photographer T. Ravi Chitty Brand Manager B.N. Murali Art Director Siva Yoham Jalaguvalan Operations Associate Suzila Afirah Abdul Rauf The ClubHouse Magazine is published by

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It would seem that the correct thing to analyse now would be the performance of our domestic players during the just concluded Maybank Malaysian Open. On hindsight, I am going to hold my silence to this one. This is not a case of putting at risk the good relationship I have with the nation’s professional golfers involved but rather saving my energy and time ranting about a situation which is not going to change anytime soon. As much as I would like to believe that my column could be influential out there, the truth is otherwise. The current generation on our paid ranks are too deeply entrenched in their comfort zones to understand the yearning of the legions of golf fans in the country, who still dream to see a world-beater or at the very least, an Asian-beater amongst us. The Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour was never meant to be the end of the road, said Danny Chia during the press conference announcing the 51st edition of the National Open earlier this year. The impetus, he added, was for the players to use the burgeoning domestic tour as a competitive practice ground to hone their games for the challenges of the regional circuit. The 39-year-old and few others have exemplified that, taking small if insignificant steps towards achieving their dreams on the Asian Tour on even to an extent, OneAsia. You know who you are and I admire your guts to go out there to a foreign land every now and then and at the very least, try to make a breakthrough for yourself. Missed cuts have been many but to persevere on that level, despite the large investment required is an admirable feat. The Malaysian Open is not the only platform in which our locals have failed to impose themselves. The Asian Development Tour (ADT), which this year alone as six co-sanctioned events in Malaysia, is another good example. Of the two legs held so far this year, a local has yet to claim a victory. It would be unfortunate if at the end of this year, a Malaysian is not in the top three of the secondary tour’s Order of Merit. Too often this year, I have seen a handful of our players skipping such joint events on the domestic circuit because the competition is “just too hard”. Moreover, this coming not from the older rank, whose granted have a view that the local tour is a “fixed deposit” but rather young twenty-something crowd, who are just beginning to cut their teeth on the paid ranks. The future is bleak, I dare say, if such defeatist mindset exists amongst our rookie professionals at such a crucial phase of their careers. In the aftermath of the national Open, Shaaban Hussin was blunt in his analysis about why the local hopes fail to make an impact year in and year out. “There are a few locals who do not use their spots on the Asian Tour because they prefer to play on the local tour. They have a mind-set that it is easy to earn money on the local tours. I know I can easily earn at least RM10,000 if I play locally but how long can I continue to play domestically? Therefore, I tell myself that if I get a chance to play out there on the Asian Tour, I will travel there, play, and then who knows, maybe even win! The competition on the Asian Tour is definitely tougher but it gives us the experience to play better.” I will accept that a 52-year old clamouring for a local champion can break even the toughest player out there. However, as long as the burden of expectation remains, generations and generations of players coming through the ranks would be faced with a insurmountable benchmark in front of them.

Edward Saminathan Chief Golf Writer news@theclubhouse.com.my CONTEST RESULTS - KIJAL ESCAPADE (ISSUE 8 - MARCH 2012)

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Major heartbreak, jetlag, sleepless nights, numerous weather delays and a world-class field - there was no stopping Louis Oosthuizen at the Maybank Malaysian Open by Edward Saminathan

Š Khalid Redza / Asian Tour

MASTER OF THE ELEMENTS


“It is always nice to have your little girl waiting on you when you come off the 18th to give you a hug. And it doesn’t matter if you have played good or bad: she just wants that hug.”

championship, totalling 17-under-par 271 to top the leaderboard ahead of marquee players from both the European and Asian Tours.

“On Thursday I knew the game was there - it was just a question of whether or not I would be able to go all the way physically.

He did not expect to be in contention he said but like all masters of the game, stayed true to his rich vein of form. Taking a one-shot lead after completing eight holes of his third round in the morning, Oosthuizen made the turn on two-under 34 before crucially sinking a birdie from ten feet on the 13th to keep his neck ahead of chasing Scotsman Stephen Gallacher.

“Having a good week this week was important and playing well. I didn’t want to come here and play bad but to win means a lot because I have been playing well for the last few weeks now and to win gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.”

The contender

s a euphoric gallery congregated around 18th green of Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club roared in approval as a new king was crowned on Sunday the 15th, a little princess named Jana was rushed impatiently to greet her dad with her hug - it was a moment that Lodewicus Theodorus (or simply Louis to us) Oosthuizen had waited all week long. Battered after flying halfway across the globe, and still bruising from a nasty hook offloaded by an American southpaw called Bubba Watson, Oosthuizen was far from physically and mentally in sync for another title assault as he landed in Kuala Lumpur late Tuesday night after a 30-hour flight. He spent every second (in his own words) reflecting on his playoff defeat in the second extra hole at Augusta National. However, like all fairy tales involving a lovable green ogre, the 29-year-old gap-toothed South African, affably nicknamed Shrek walked home a hero - the Seagram Trophy nicely tucked under one arm and his beaming daughter in the other.

A deserving champion

The perfect tonic, one local daily reported and indeed it was as a near flawless collection of rounds in the 60s (the only one all week) saw Oosthuizen coast to a memorable three-stroke victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open to bury the disappointment of leaving Magnolia Lane a Sunday ago empty handed. Resilient in quality and effortless in style, Oosthuizen dug deep into his reserves, defying fatigue and a tiring mind as he played 26 holes on the final round of the weather-hit

© Khalid Redza / Asian Tour

A

“I thought I was going to be a lot more tired,” said Oosthuizen later on. “It was a long journey to get here and I have to be honest and say that I didn’t expect to play this well because of the tiredness. “The one thing I did know was that the game was there so that helped a lot. I was quite tired at points in those first couple of rounds but overall it has been great and I am over the moon with the result.

© Khalid Redza / Asian Tour

© Getty

With the finishing line closer in sight, the 2010 British Open champion’s moment came on the 16th - his lucky stars finally shining, converting a stray drive, which almost took a drink into a delightful pitch and putt for birdie. Game, set, match and a fifth European Tour title all in the bag.

Knackered as he may have been, Oosthuizen still had major goals in mind as the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak slipped on the champion’s navy blue jacket, saying: “It would have been better if it was green(laughter),” he cracked.

Gallacher ran out of birdies in end, closing with a round of two-under 70 but was pleased with his second runner-up finish of the season after his first at the Dubai Desert Classic. “It’s good, that’s what you want to be in the last round, last group, even if it was the second last group for myself today. The more you do it, the more chances you can knock a couple off,” said the 38-year-old, who accidentally signed for third round 69 despite finishing with a fourunder 68 this morning. “I only had two bogeys the whole week, so fair play to him [Oosthuizen]. He played great and was on form,” he conceded.

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The Asian Tour challenge

he was mentally tired - it was the 31-year-old’s third straight week of tournament play. “I feel that my game is on the right track. I have been on a bit of form, so I just felt that I needed to keep pushing. Nevertheless, this week, I learned a lot about myself this week, especially in terms of my physical condition. I need to work out more often,” he said.

predecessors.

© Ravi Chitty

The 23-year-old rookie, who triumphed at the HANDA Faldo Cambodian Classic, closed with a round of six birdies against two bogeys for a solid 70 and a total of 12-under-par 271. “I can’t believe where I’m at right now. It has been great. I have been consistent off the tee and my putter has been co-operating with me. Those two things combined really help. “I am proud with how I handled myself, especially with the crowds, as I have never been in an event like this. It was real fun!” shared the Los Angeles-native, who was playing in his maiden co-sanctioned tournament.

Shaaban sizzles, others fizzle

In retrospective, the top-ranked Malaysian in the field played decent golf but will look back in regret at the dreaded ‘snowman’ when he triple-bogeyed the par-five fifth during the opening round. So, where did it go wrong for the Malaysians with such a poor return from the 22 slots allocated? Previously, the commonly heard complaint was a lack of tournament play - a problem that has since been resolved with the initiation of the burgeoning domestic Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) circuit. Indeed if any, this armchair journalist will dare suggest that our domestic golfers are suffering from a confidence crisis - unable to find a way to translate their admirable performance on the local circuit onto the international stage when it matters the most. Based on the performance of our national amateurs, barring the ‘wildcard’ who found himself out-of-depth in a world-class field, our hopes can safely rest on the next generation currently being groomed to take on the baton from their ‘comfortable in the present’

For the second year running, only one Malaysian advanced into the weekend rounds and it was not surprising that it was the in-form Shaaban Hussin, who met the halfway mark of even-par 144. Coming off his best finish on the Asian Tour for some time after a tied-13th finish at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic, Shaaban started confidently with opening rounds of two-under 70 and a level-par 70 before slipping down the leaderboard with a 75 and 73 to end his campaign on two-over 290 overall. Not for want of trying, Shaaban admitted that

© Khalid Redza / Asian Tour

8

David Lipsky once again underlined his massive potential, continuing his inspiring rise from Asian Tour graduate to winner with a resounding tied third place alongside Spaniard Rafael Cabrero-Bello and Danny Willett of England.

Danny Chia, so long the country’s flag bearer at the national Open, had a forgettable campaign, carding two consecutive rounds of 73 to bow out on two-over for the tournament alongside the highly promising amateur Low Khai Jei (right), who was making his debut in the tournament.

© Ravi Chitty

“The pressure [of playing at your national Open] is always there but you need to learn to cope with it and the best way to get comfortable in your own skin is to venture out and play more tournaments on the regional Tours,” added Shaaban.

The biggest disappointment came in the form of Md Rashid Ismail, one of the respected elders in the domestic paid ranks, who failed to show up for his second round tee-off after a poor opening round of ten-over 82 and was disqualified as a result, which pretty much summed the Malaysian malady at the national Open.

Outside The Ropes

Comparing tournaments is never a good way to go but if anything, the galleries at the Maybank Malaysian Open this year did not meet the record crowds that turned up for the 50th jubilee edition. Whether it was a consequence of the numerous weather delays, which disrupted the rhythm of competition (and the prize-giving) or the lack of ‘star’ players (cue for Rory McIlroy here) as some spoiled spectators mumbled to us-the national Open nonetheless demonstrated a real depth in terms of competitors from the European Tour. That was a real surprise in today’s climate of appearance fees and A&A benefits. It is a definitely a good sign that the Maybank Malaysian Open is ranking high in the priorities of many Continental players, who see it as an important event in the Race to Dubai calendar Of course, the much-awaited closing speech by Prime Minister once again saw the custodians of the tournament, the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) laughing all the way to the bank with an additional RM2 million grant for the purposes of developing the Royal & Ancient sport in the country. It is a vital shot in the arm for the national association, which will hopefully bear fruits of joy in our lifetime.


MALAYSIAN LADIES GOLF ASSOCIATION

KLGCC TO HOST MALAYSIAN LADIES AMATEUR OPEN IN MAY

L to R: Lee Ai Hoon (Bermaz Motor GM), Robert John Bird (Kuala Lumpur GCC MD), Datuk Mohd Zain Yusuf (MGA vice-president), HH Tunku Puteri Puan Sri Jawahir Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar (MALGA president), Dato’ Rabeahtul Aloya Abbas (MALGA exec. director) and Dato’ Lee San (Apple Vacations MD)

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A

fter twice successfully hosting the stars of the LPGA, the East Course of Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club is set to play host to some of the region’s top lady amateurs during the 29th edition of the Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open (MLAO) from May 29-31. The annual championship is once again expected to assemble a strong regional field after it was announced that the tournament would absorb the ladies category of the Malaysian Amateur Open (MAO) - a sign of the growing co-operation between the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) and its affiliate, the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association (MALGA). MALGA president HH Tunku Puan Sri Dato Seri Jawahir Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar made the announcement of the dates and venue during a press conference at the club on March 21. In her address, Tunku Puteri shared that the association was delighted with the opportunity to host the prestigious championship at one of Malaysia’s top golf developments. “After three consecutive editions at The Mines Resort & Golf Club, MALGA is pleased that Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club have graciously extended their East Course, which incidentally is the venue of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, to host the nation’s top lady amateur event. The championship will not only give lady golfers from around the country as well as the region to test their skills against the challenging layout of a LPGA-

standard golf course but also act as a good training ground for our elite players ahead of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia qualifier and tournament proper later this year,” she said. “Last year we had 103 golfers from eleven countries competing including Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Korea, Norway, Thailand and Indonesia. We are expecting all these countries compete again and we might have more countries this year with the growing popularity of our championship,” added Tunku Puan Sri Dato’ Seri Jawahir. Bermaz Motors Sdn Bhd, the franchise holder for the Mazda brand in Malaysia, will return as the main sponsor alongside Apple Vacations, Shiseido, Gatorade, the Ministry of Youth & Sports as well as the Ministry of Tourism. On a positive note, Tunku Puan Sri Dato’ Seri Jawahir also stressed that MALGA enjoyed a close working relationship with the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) under the stewardship of Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor. “We are happy that MGA now recognises our efforts in developing ladies golf and we working well together to bring ladies and junior golf to greater heights,” she shared. The pressure firmly on the locals, who made a clean sweep of the titles on offer last year after top-ranked amateur Kelly Tan (pic left) claimed the individual title with a solid sixstroke victory over fellow national Nur Durriyah

Damian. Kelly had earlier captained the Malaysia A team comprising of past winners Michelle Koh, Diana Tham and herself to the team championship. The entry fee has been set at RM750 (MALGA members) while foreign participants will be charged US$300 for the three-day affair.


MALAYSIAN GOLF ASSOCIATION

Honours shared at annual President Challenge East Malaysia were the clear winners in yesterday’s fourball contest, claiming a 3-1 lead in both the men’s and ladies divisions before the Peninsular lads evened out the competition with a 3-1 victory of their own in the afternoon foursome sessions.

T

he honours were evenly split between West Malaysia and East Malaysia as the two-day President Challenge Trophy concluded on April 4 at Sabah Golf & Country Club. The East Malaysian ladies team claimed the Datuk Robin Loh trophy, defeating their Peninsular counterparts by a narrow onepoint advantage while the West Malaysian

SB_01-StrapARocket.pdf

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men’s team lifted the Dato’ Thomas Lee trophy by a similar margin in the annual Ryder Cupstyled competition. The ninth edition of the annual challenge which began with the customary fourball and foursome sessions yesterday culminated with the deciding singles matches this afternoon, which saw 16 matches contested in total – eight each in the ladies’ and men’s division.

With both team taking two victories apiece to square the foursome match, the East Malaysian ladies carried a two pointadvantage into the final day singles. Despite a 4 ½ - 3 ½ defeat by the West Malaysians today, the Borneo gals captained by reigning Malaysian Amateur Open champion Aretha Pan Herng held on to claim a 8 ½ – 7 ½ over their rivals from across the South China Sea. The men’s singles saw an equally tight contest before the lads from West Malaysia eased to a one-point victory, garnering 4½ points to Sabah and Sarawak’s haul of 3 ½ for a final score of 8 ½ – 7 ½.

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Khai Jei storms to Perlis Amateur victory

P

erak’s Low Khai Jei continued his gallant winning run, bagging the Perlis Amateur Open at Kelab Golf Putra on March 26.

The national amateur stormed to a tournament-low one-under 71 on the final day to clinch the title by one stroke ahead of 36-hole leader Daniel Ng with a eight-over 224 total. Daniel, a former national, stumbled with a disappointing closing eightover 80 after matching 73s in the first two rounds. Muhammad Afif Mohd Razif was third on 16-over 232 with rounds of 76, 78 and 78. It was Khai Jei’s first state amateur victory and the 16-year-old from Taiping was grinning from ear-to-ear as he received the championship trophy from Raja of Perlis HRH Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail. “I would say I played well but I don’t think I was at my best, there was not too much pressure on me during the tournament,” said Low, who managed to erase a seven-stroke deficit after two rounds to claim the title. “I have played this course several times, so I wasn’t surprised with my final round. It feels great to have a state amateur crown under my belt,” he added.


MALAYSIAN GOLF ASSOCIATION

Paul, Kelly triumph in Sabah Amateur Three shot behind in third was local hope Albright Chong, who managed an even-par final round, adding to his earlier rounds of 74 and 79. “I was leading from the first round and I told myself to keep it calm for the final round and just follow the game plan,” said Paul. “I knew I had a chance to win and it was mighty close in the end but I’m happy with the result!” Meanwhile in the ladies’ division, Kelly Tan ensured a Malaysian clean sweep, firing a two-under-par 70 for an impressive threeunder-par 213 overall to finish six strokes ahead of Sabah’s Aretha Pan Herng (77, 70 & 72) and Filipino contenders Princess Superal (75, 72 & 72) and Jayvie Agoyo (72, 73 & 74).

P

aul San created an upset at the recent Sabah Amateur Open, holding on for a wire-to-wire victory over his more fancied national stablemates at Sabah Golf & Country Club. The 15-year-old Paul carded rounds of 71 and

79 before closing with a solid one-under 71 for a winning total of five-over-par 222, beating favourite Low Khai Jei by one-stroke. Khai Jei, who trailed Paul by two strokes coming into the final round, managed a tournament low of two-under 72 but had to be satisfied with second place.

Kelly who did not drop a shot throughout the three-day event was satisfied with her performance. “My game plan was to make pars on the tough holes and be aggressive on the easy holes,” said Kelly. “I knew that’s all I had to do and I’m delighted to be back on the winner’s circle.”

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Glenmarie to host national amateur Open course,” shared the club’s special advisor Datuk Hj Abdul Rahman Mohd Ramli during a press conference on April 5 before announcing that DRB Hicom Bhd will pledge RM300,000 as the title sponsor of the MAO.

G

lenmarie Golf & Country Club was given the honour to host the 2012 edition of the Malaysian Amateur Open from May 24 to 27. It will be the first time that prestigious championship golf course will hold the revered national amateur championship, which turns 110 this year. “Glenmarie Golf & Country Club is honoured to be selected as the host venue for this prestigious event and we are confident that the players will relish playing in our challenging and matured championship

Acknowledging the support by the automotive conglomerate, Malaysian Golf Association president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor expressed his gratitude to DRB-Hicom on their generosity. “We are extremely pleased and proud that DRB-Hicom has come onboard as the title sponsor of the MAO. The tournament which was initiated in 1894 is one of the region’s oldest amateur golf championship and counts on the likes of reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Juvic Pangunsan, Mardan Mamat, Shiv Kapur and Australian Robert Allenby as former winners,” said Mohd Anwar. “The MGA and Glenmarie Golf & Country Club are committed in making the 110th Malaysian

Open a first class event in the region and hopefully, the response from the entire member countries of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation has been very encouraging to date,” he added, noting that national associations from as far as Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Korea have confirmed their participation this year. Mohd Anwar also confirmed that Glenmarie Golf & Country Club would extend the national team ample training opportunities at the course, in a concerted effort to reclaim the championship trophy for the first time since R. Nachimuthu last won in 1997. Malaysia’s challenge will be spearheaded by Low Khai Jei, Muhammad Afif Mohd Razif and Chan Tuck Soon. Club manager Adi Shahar added that the club would work overtime to have the course at its best condition with some of the region’s top amateurs converging in Shah Alam. “We have just completed cultural practices on the greens in February and have taken steps to improve our bunkers on the Valley course, which is the chosen venue. My team and I believe that we can have the greens running at around 10.5 to 11 feet on the stimpmeter ahead of the tournament,” he stated.


MALAYSIAN GOLF ASSOCIATION

Top domestic amateurs to compete at Malaysian Amateur Closed Malaysian Golf Association president Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor expressed his confidence that the event will be a good practice run for the national players before the MAO. “We are grateful that Templer Park Country Club has stepped forward to host the Malaysian Amateur Closed and it is noteworthy that this layout has in the past played host to three editions of the Malaysian Open. We are expecting a good contest with the participants vying for the remaining slots at the MAO and the national amateurs, who qualify automatically, will benefit from a the run-out,” he said.

W

ith the final seven berths to the 110th Malaysian Amateur Open (MAO) up for grabs, the 46th Malaysian Amateur Closed to be held at Templer Park Country Club from May 2 - 4 is expected to be a hotly contested affair. 1 4/19/12 9:49 PM SB_02-LaunchLonger.pdf

105 participants, including from Sabah and Sarawak have confirmed their participation to date for the last warm-up event before the national amateur championship tees-off later in the month.

Templer Park Country Club’s general manager Manibalan Kutty was delighted that the club will host its first major event in over 12 years. “Definitely it is a great feeling to return to the fold and we will do our best to ensure that the Malaysian Amateur Closed will be a successful showpiece for the MGA,” he noted.

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Shuzi Asia extends support to Malaysian nationals

N

ational team players will enjoy the health benefits of the latest sports science research after high-performance sports jewellery maker Shuzi Asia pledged its support for the Malaysian national team. All national Elite team members will have

their tournament golf bags sponsored by Shuzi and will be provided with a range of Shuzi sports wristbands and necklaces to help them reach greater heights. Malaysian Golf Association president Admiral (R) Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor thanked Hock Toh, the president of Shuzi Asia during the presentation of the golf bags to national amateurs participating at the Maybank Malaysian Open. “I am very pleased that private corporations are starting to come to the fore and supporting our young amateur as Shuzi is doing today with the

sponsorship of the golf bags for the national Elite team. I hope many other companies will also come forth to support the growth of the game at the grassroots level,” he said. Hock, who is also an appointed member on the MGA’s national team sub-committee said, “I am very pleased to be able to do our small part by providing our boys and girls with these new professional touring golf bags. It is my fervent hope that by donning Shuzi sports performance jewellery, our players will improve on their balance and better manage their stress levels, two key ingredients for scoring in sports such as golf.” Great turnout: Over 100 junior golfers of all level congregated at Pulai Springs Golf Resort on April 1 for the MGA Johor State junior golf clinic. The participants from the various junior golf centres under the auspices of the Johor Golf Association were given pointers and coaching by golf professionals from both the national and state bodies.


MY JUNIORS RESULTS - SportExcel National Junior Golf Circuit - 1st Leg

JOHOR JUNIORS RULE THE ROOST

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ocal players took full advantage of home ground knowledge as the SportExcel National Junior Golf Circuit got its first leg underway at the Johor Golf & Country Club on March 16. The three-day curtain raiser saw Johoreans sweep the honours in four of the seven agegroup categories contested with Abel Tam

(Boys’ under-18), Alvin Hiew (boys’ under-15), Qistina Balqis Azahar (girls’ under-15) and Kim Sol Lip (girls’ under-12) leading the way for the Southern state. Yong Mei Khuan made it two victories from two starts on the SportExcel circuit this year, claiming a comprehensive 11-stroke victory in the girls’ under-18 category with rounds of 78, 76 and 74.

Boys’ Under-18 1st Abel Tam (JGCC) 223 (73-75 -75) 2nd Kuhanesh Ganesan (JGCC ) 229 (75–81-73) 3rd Reza Iskandar (Johor Juniors) 234 (79–79-76) 4th Maveen Kumar (Johor Juniors) 244 (83–82–79) Boys’ Under-15 1st Hiew Alvin (Palm Resort) 228 (74–81-73) 2nd Aaerishna Shahstry (JGCC) 234 (80–79-75) 3rd Muhamad Zafrran ( JGCC) 245 (79–81-85) 4th Robin Tan (Bukit Banang) 251 (84–81–86) Boys’ Under-12 1st Bryan Teoh Whyang (Penang GR) 223 (76–76- 71) 2nd Daeng Abd Rahman (JGCC) 227 (79–75- 73) 3rd Yong Fatt Hoe (Saujana GCC) 247 (81–80–86) 4th Lee Chong Li (JGCC) 257 (89–86–82)

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RYAN FINISHES STRONG IN HSBC YOUTH GOLF CHALLENGE

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yan Wong Wey Ren may be no stranger on the domestic junior golf scene but the 13-year-old youngster from Kuala Lumpur is making waves in Singapore after re-locating to island state earlier this year. In the recent first leg of the HSBC Youth Golf Challenge held at Singapore Island Country Club last month, Wong finished second in Boys Division B (12-14) category, carding matching rounds of 81, seven

strokes behind winner Yash Majmudar (7778) of Orchid Country Club. Also finishing in the roll of honours was Johor Golf & Country Club’s Asha Lakshme Balakrishnan, who finished fourth in the girls’ Division A (15-17).Young Lions trio Thomas Tan (boys’ Division A), Ariel Lee (girls’ division A) and Sarah Tan (girls’ division B) were the other winners.

Girls’ Under-18 1st Yong Mei Khuan (Saujana GCC) 228 (78–76–74) 2nd Asha Lakshime (JGCC) 239 (86–78 –75) 3rd Mishel Teo (Kluang) 321 (104–105–112) 4th Eerrisha Baloo (Johor Juniors) 327 (112–114–101) Girls’ Under-15 1st Qistina Balqis Azhar (JGCC) 258 (87–87–84) 2nd Chong Yong (Kluang) 261 (88–87–86) 3rd Chong Yee Mun (Kelab Darul Ehsan) 268 (95–87–86) 4th Ginnie Ho Xin Ni (Johor Juniors) 286 ( 98 – 95 – 93) Girls’ Under-12 1st Kim Sol Lip (Austin Hill) 270 (92–88–90) 2nd Winnie Ng Yu Xuan (Bukit Jalil) 276 (95– 95-86) 3rd Vanessa Khoo Qi Lian (Seletar) 282 (94–96–92) 4th Nurdiyana Aqilah (Johor Juniors) 286 (108–87– 91) Mixed Under 9 1st Ferish Nor Faizal Nor (Glenmarie) 236 ( 80 – 77 – 78 ) 2nd Foo Tee Jui (SIGC) 241 ( 80 – 82 – 79 ) 3rd Hailey Loh (Seletar) 243 ( 80 – 82 – 79 ) 4th Jeneath Wong (Valencia) 248 ( 82 – 83 – 83 )


INSIDE THE ROPES

CLEARWATER HIGH FOR NACHIMUTHU

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. Nachimuthu claimed a record third Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) title after surviving a play-off duel with Shaaban Hussin to lift the Clearwater Classic on March 31. The reigning PGM Order of Merit champion birdied from three feet on the second extra hole at the par-five 18th of Clearwater Sanctuary Resort to take home the winner’s purse of RM21,000 after both players had finished regulation play with a 13-under-par 275 total. Long-hitting Kemarol Baharin Kemarol Huda put on a late charge with a strong round of four-under 68 but found himself undone by a couple of missed birdie opportunities to finish two strokes adrift in third. Two-time PGM Tour winner Nicholas Fung took sole fourth on ten-under-par 278 with a blistering closing 67 while Md Rashid Ismail and Haziq Hamizan, were a further shot back on nine-under 279 overall. Defending champion Danny Chia moved into a leaderboard position on the back of a closing superb 66, helped by a finishing eagle on the 18th to tie CM Chong and S. Murthy for seventh.

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Nachimuthu could not hide his joy of claiming a treble on the burgeoning domestic tour. “I’m

delighted to have claimed another victory on Tour and I am confident that there are many more to come. I have worked hard on my game and the hours of practice have paid. My coach Andrew Argus has been instrumental because he is constantly motivating me to continue striving for bigger things,” said the 41-year-old. He admitted that Shaaban gave him a good challenge for the title. “Shaaban played an incredible round and made some fantastic birdies out there today. At one point, I trailed him by three strokes but I just re-focused my effort and kept my cool. I had a strong finish with three birdies in four holes, which helped me keep pace with Shaaban. Once I was in the playoff, I pretty much knew what I had to do.” shared Nachimuthu, who closed with a round 67. Leading final round scores 275 – R. Nachimuthu (71-67-70-67); Shaaban Hussin (71-70-68-66) (Nachimuthu wins on second extra hole) 277 – Kemarol Baharin (70-69-70-68) 278 – Nicholas Fung (69-70-72-67) 279 – Md Rashid Ismail (66-68-77-68); Haziq Hamizan (66-68-77-68) 284 – Danny Chia (70-73-75-66); CM Chong (71-74-70-69); S. Murthy (67-75-71-71); Anis Helmi Hassan (69-7074-71)

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BLEUMINK EARNS BREAKTHROUGH IN JOHOR

of Japan, who struggled to a 73 on a difficult scoring day at the Johor Golf & Country Club. The victory earned Bleumink a winner’s share of RM31,500 in the RM180,000 (approximately US$60,000) event, which was co-sanctioned by the PGM and ADT. Englishman Grant Jackson (72) took sole possession of third on 284 while Rizal Amin finished as the best local player in tied fourth place with Will Yanagisawa of the United States on a 285 total. A further stroke back was reigning PGM Order of Merit champion R. Nachimuthu, whose final round 70 saw him take a share of sixth alongside with Masaki Sakata of Japan and local lad Mohd Hafiy.

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ustralia’s Luke Bleumink stayed cool in scorching conditions to claim his Asian Development Tour breakthrough at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Johor Masters on April 7. Battling to a solid round of one-under 71, the 27-year-old Melbournite closed with a total of seven-under-par 281 to finish two strokes ahead of overnight co-leader Hirotaro Naito

A newcomer to Asia, Bleumink was elated on earning his maiden professional victory on Asia’s leading secondary circuit. “Obviously, I’m happy to win my first professional title. It was a solid week for me but I did not drive the ball as well as I would like today. My putting pulled my game up and I’m glad I hung in there for the win,” said Bleumink, who turned professional in 2010. After a flying start with two straight birdies, Bleumink dropped shots on the fifth and eighth before converting a pivotal 12-foot birdie putt

on the 10th hole to seal the victory. “That was definitely the turning point for me because it kept me in the game,” noted Bleumink, who is now determined to earn his 2013 Tour card by finishing in the top three of the ADT Order of Merit after finishing outside the top-40 of the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier this year. For Rizal, the top-five finish was a major confidence-booster as he attempts to become a household name in the local circuit. “It’s a great result for me considering that I didn’t have much time to recover after finishing the event (PGM Clearwater Classic) last week. I had a shaky start with a opening round 74 but I managed to get in under control and I am very pleased with the way I played this week,” said the 28-year-old. Leading final round scores 281 – Luke Bleumink (Aus) 70-72-68-71 283 – Hirotaro Naito (Jpn) 75-69-66-73 284 – Grant Jackson (Eng) 71-69-72-72 285 – Rizal Amin (Mas) 74-71-69-71, Will Yanagisawa (USA) 73-70-69-73 286 – R. Nachimuthu (Mas) 71-71-74-70, Masaki Sakata (Jpn) 70-72-74-70, Mohd Hafiy (Mas) 73-72-70-71 287 – Wang Tsung-chieh (Tpe) 72-68-75-72, Rattanon Wannasrichan (Tha) 72-76-67-72, Senroku Isa (Jpn) 73-69-73-72, Rick Gibson (Can) 75-71-69-72


INSIDE THE ROPES Sentosa4DMagiz also reiterated their support for long-term ambassador M. Sasidaran, who has been carrying the company’s brand since 2005. Sentosa4DMagiz managing director Dato A Yogesvaran said “As a casual golfer myself, I understand what it takes for our local professionals to achieve greater heights in their golfing career. It is not easy for them to survive rough patches without some corporate sponsorship and I believe it’s our corporate social responsibility to assist our boys in achieving their true potentials.”

SPONSORSHIP BOOST FOR SIVA, SASI

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. Sivachandhran will join the stable of professional golfers sponsored by Sentosa4DMagiz, the operators of South East Asia’s first four-dimensional theatre.

The 32-year-old will receive a sponsorship of RM50,000 for his 2012 season with additional bonus and incentives should he achieve success on the domestic Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) circuit as well as other professional events, both at home and abroad.

Sivachandhran, who last year claimed the PGM Melaka Classic, was thrilled with the sponsorship, which will enable him to accept more invites to play outside the country. “This fund will come in handy especially as I intend to expand my playing time on the Asian Tour as well as the ASEAN PGA Tour. It is great that many captains of industry are now looking at sponsoring local professionals after the emergence of a strong domestic circuit under the stewardship of Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid.”

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SHUZI SPONSORSHIP FOR CHIA

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anny Chia was recently unveiled as the ambassador for Shuzi - a company leading the way in sports bracelet and necklace technology in Asia. The 39-year-old Chia will represent Shuzi in Southeast Asia by using their products and sporting the Shuzi logo on his bag. Shuzi will also create a special line of bracelets for Chia called the Danny Chia Titanium Limited Edition sports cuffs collection, with only 300 pieces of the solid one-piece aerospace-grade Titanium bracelet manufactured and made available worldwide. Chia, whose other sponsors include banking conglomerate Maybank, Callaway, mobile phone network 1010 and sports clothing SKINS was delighted with the sponsorship. “I have a tremendous amount of faith in Shuzi’s products and I am really looking forward to working with them. I am still hungry for titles and I definitely feel they will be a great help to me as I continue to further develop my game,” said Chia, who will benefit from Shuzi’s advanced sports science research on the use of nano-vibrational technology. “These are exciting times for Shuzi as we have developed some important products for golf and other sports which can really enhance performance. Of course to demonstrate their value we need to work with athletes at the highest level and so with Danny on board, we are delighted to be able to achieve this,” said Hock Toh, president of Shuzi Asia.


GOLF CLUB MANAGERS ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA

Golf Educational Trip: Western Australia

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his time around, I wanted to document and share the golf experience that got me going back to Perth, WA at least six times during the last ten years. I kept asking myself what is it that attracts Malaysian golfers to go there, spend a big budget on airfares, hotels, food, local transport and souvenirs for their family and friends. The green fees alone form a big slice of their spending, where the average per round is AUD$80.00 to AUD$90.00 (RM285.00) at some of the better-known courses around Perth. The fees get cheaper at the many public courses or as we go further into the country. The weaker Ringgit is also currently not favourable to Malaysians but that does not stop the many Malaysians I saw shopping at Hay Street, Perth and the Fremantle market. Like me, these golfers are looking for something nice or different or perhaps a new experience. Golfers do not like playing on the same course hence the desire to explore new ones! I often asked during every trip, what is it that I hope to gain? Am I going to feel or find something new or different? What are my satisfaction levels? What are the things that give me satisfaction? What triggers the excitement? How do I feel after each game or trip? I am wearing the golf tourist hat and would like to share this experience with friends and club managers. The feeling is mutual! Maybe, if

we find the answers to these questions above, Malaysian golf clubs can be better prepared and equipped to receive more foreign tourists. They can be export ready or tourist friendly.

For all of us, it was a challenge just to keep the ball on the fairways because of the strong winds blowing in from the Indian Ocean. Every hole has its own character.

From the Perth airport, we went straight to The Cut, an hour drive past the town of Mandurah, South West of Perth. This was my third game here. The course rated very highly once and it is one of the very few links course in Australia. I told my friends, they do not have to go all the way to Scotland to play on a links course!

The course was playing well, fairways smartly trimmed and the green speed was 9.5. I was looking for a challenge, wanting to score better than the last two games here. After 18 holes, I felt good, although disappointed on some missed putts. I enjoyed the challenge, the renewed experience and got the satisfaction that I was looking for. Some of my friends genuinely felt that they were tortured but overall enjoyed their experience

The scenery was breath taking. We took longer than usual to complete the round, not only looking for lost balls but also admiring its natural surroundings and beauty. In addition, the modern and expensive looking houses bordering the fairways attracted our attention.

Hartfield Country Club overlooking the picturesque Kalamanda hills.

The next day we played at Hartfield Country Club, a journey that took about forty-five minutes from the place we stayed. That was the fifth time I played the course. As we arrived, we felt welcomed straight away by the presence of the committee members including the General Manager. I saw a notice on the board welcoming us, which was nice. This reminded me when we played Joondalup Country Club a few years back. They had the Malaysian flag flying to indicate that we were on the course together with other nationalities like English and Japanese. It was a nice gesture! I have always enjoyed playing at Hartfield. It is flat and the walking was good for a change. The friendliness of the members struck me. We


GOLF CLUB MANAGERS ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA These are all-important and obviously a big factor in repeat visits. Their word of mouth has attracted not only other small groups from Hartfield but members from other clubs in Perth. I hope, all our golf clubs are able to create the same levels of friendliness to lure in more golf tourists. Some clubs I believe are already there, but others still have room for improvement. Nice apartments at The Cut, Western Australia

were even invited to take part in their four ball best ball competition the following Sunday, which we gladly accepted. My club, Ayer Keroh Country Club has played host to Hartfield members whenever they come to Malaysia. Accordingly, a few of them have been coming to Malaysia for the last seventeen years. They first came to play in the WAITGC game organized by Tourism Malaysia and have been back yearly ever since. . It was love at first sight! They love coming to Malaysia and they have no desire to go to Indonesia or Thailand even though they heard a lot about what they have to offer. Their reasons, besides feeling totally secured and relaxed, obviously the friendliness of Malaysians and the feeling of always being welcome here. That is Malaysian hospitality.

Our next destination was a public course. We wanted to find out for ourselves what it is like to play in one. There is a public course in just about every suburb or county in WA, something of a rarity in Malaysia. We chose Marangaroo Golf Club because of its locality. It was value for money at AUD$27.00.

The next course we played was Melville Glades Golf Club, a members club. We got in after a personal introduction by a friend from Hartfield and were given a very special rate. We were very impressed with its facilities. All enjoyed the course, as the playing condition was excellent. To top it up, we saw many kangaroos on the course. We were fascinated as the course was located in a residential area. It was a definite attraction! Taking the queue, Malaysian clubs should take better care of the eco system and bio-diversity including preserving all the habitats on their courses which will be a definite attraction. I think the Aussies have a liking for our monkeys, lizards and birds!

Nevertheless, the course was of high standard as it was well-maintained by the city council, like most other public courses in WA. The staff at the pro shop was genuinely friendly and helpful. They eventually managed to squeeze us in although we did not have an earlier reservation. What got my attention was their concern for us, and their willingness to offer us a slot for the experience. All of us enjoyed the game although it lasted longer than normal, which is expected when playing on any public course! Junior program at Joondalup Resort in Perth

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I decided to visit two other courses located in the country towns of Busselton (120km south) and Albany (410km south) out of curiosity to see if they are any different. Water is a scarce commodity in certain parts of WA especially during the hot summer months. Some clubs have natural underground storage facilities and pump the water out when needed. I noticed something different at Busselton Golf Club where they recycled used water for their needs. They do a joint project with the local community. This is definitely a very positive step towards protecting the environment. They are getting closer to making it eco friendly. Going green is the way forward for golf club management. Malaysia gets plenty of rain all year round. However, most of the used and contaminated water from the golf course is not treated, where eventually it gets into the streams and rivers and may end up in the catchment areas. Maybe, it is timely that clubs should consider treating their wastewater before it contaminates the rivers and kill all living creatures. Recycling wastewater can be expensive for clubs unless it is done jointly with the town hall. The Albany Golf Club was once rated one of the best links course in Australia. It is located by the sea and very scenic. The trees are taller now and it may eventually lose its billing as a links course. I was impressed by how well it is being maintained. Golfers are attracted to the natural

beauty of the course. Albany brings in lots of tourists, avid golfers and sun seekers especially during the summer months. Holidaymakers as far as Perth spend their summer here. Some have holiday homes and many stay at hotels and caravan parks. They go swimming, sailing or just lay around the beaches under the summer sun to get a good tan. Therefore, business is seasonal but they capitalize it during the summer months. With proper promotion, Albany Golf Club managed to attract many holidaymakers who are golfers. Most of our courses are able to attract many Koreans during their winter season but sometimes at ridiculously low rates. I think golf clubs in each state should sit down and agree on a fix rate or a range for the Koreans instead of cutting each other’s throats. We can offer better packages to attract more north Asian golfers like China and Japan on a seasonal basis.

What do I learn from this trip? There are many different things that we can observe and learn during golf trips overseas. It is not only the course playing conditions and its beauty, but the whole package which includes accommodation, transport, food, club facilities, social interactions and many others which are closely associated with tourism. We must measure our satisfaction level of the experience. Is it value for money? What are the things that we are happy with? Are we satisfied all round? These will determine whether we should consider a revisit or recommend to our friends. I am of the view that Malaysian clubs can make improvements by the way they manage the golf clubs so we are able to provide the same level of satisfaction if not better to our golf tourists. Likewise, we must be able to create values with the right marketing strategies. We should also tailor products to meet the expectations of different foreign golf tourists. I think there is room for research in the areas discussed above so that we understand better the needs of foreign golfers and how golf clubs can make them feel welcome.

Mohd Rom Muslim

is the President of Golf Club Managers Association of Malaysia. Property developement around the Melville Glades Golf Club


AROUND THE GLOBE BUBBA’S ARSENAL

Driver: Ping Pink G20 (8.50) Fairway Wood: Ping G20 4-wood (16.50) Irons (3-PW): Ping S59 Wedges: Ping Tour-W (520 and 560), Ping Tour-S (640) Putter: Ping Redwood Anser Ball: Titleist Pro V1x Footwear: FootJoy FJ Icon Glove: FootJoy Spidr2

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BUBBA WINS THE MASTERS McILROY SOARS TO THE TOP 10:08 PM

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ig-hitting American leftie Bubba Watson played a masterful hook out of the trees to set up a thrilling US Masters victory on April 8 after a sudden-death play-off with South African Louis Oosthuizen. Watson had two earlier chances to win the title outright on the 18th green in the final hole of regulation play and when he faced a twometre putt on the first play-off hole but he was not be denied on the second play-off hole on the 10th, as he wept in joy after a simple par to win his first Major title.

Costly miss for Oosthuizen on the second extra hole

England’s Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar and Sweden’s Peter Hanson finished in a tie for third with crowd favourite and overnight leader Phil Mickelson, who could only manage a closing even-par 72 after an early triple bogey nightmare. Hot favourites Rory McIlroy

Charl Schwartzel welcoming watson to the Green Jacket club

and Tiger Woods struggled over the weekend, finishing on five-over 293 - 15 shots off the lead. Oosthuizen, who had conjured one of the greatest shots in golf with an albatross on the par five second at Augusta National en-route to a final round was graceful in defeat. ”I had no idea where he was,” Oosthuizen said. “Where I stood from, when the ball came out, it looked like a curve ball. Unbelievable shot. That shot he hit definitely won him the tournament,” said the 2010 British Open champion, who went home with the consolation of being only the fourth man ever to post a double eagle in Masters history.

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I’ve never had a dream go this far, so I can’t really say it’s a dream come true,” he said. “I don’t even know what happened on the back nine. ... Nervous on every shot, every putt. Went into a playoff. I got in these trees and hit a crazy shot that I saw in my head, and somehow I’m here talking to you with a green jacket on,” added Watson, who made four straight birdies on the back nine to close with a 4-under 68 and a four-day total of 10-under 278.

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“Hooked it about 40 yards, hit about 15 feet off the ground until it got under the tree and then started rising. Pretty easy.”


AROUND THE GLOBE

YANI CLAIMS BACKTO-BACK VICTORIES

MIGHTY THOR-BJØRN REIGNS IN SICILY

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horbjørn Olesen held on for a first European Tour victory at the Sicilian Open on April 1 despite a gallant challenge from Chris Wood, who equalled the Verdura Golf Resort & Spa course record. The 22-year-old Dane started the final round with a three shot lead after a brilliant third round 67 in blustery conditions before keeping it neat and tidy in perfect scoring conditions on the final day.

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Englishman Wood took full advantage, charging out the pack to catch Olesen on four separate occasions but the winner held firm, paring the difficult 17th and 18th holes for a round of 69 and a 15-under-par aggregate. “It feels amazing,” he said. “I had three seconds last year, so to finally get my first win is great,” said Olesen, who walked away with the €166,660 winner’s cheque.

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orld number one Yani Tseng captured her second straight LPGA Tour title with a commanding six-shot victory at the Kia Classic on March 25 - a third win in five events this year. The 23-year-old Taiwanese led wire-to-wire at the La Costa’s Legends Course, closed with a two-under 70 to reach a 14-under 274 total, following up on her victory at the LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix a week earlier. South Korea’s Yoo Sun-Young finished second after shooting a 71 while China’s Feng Shanshan fired a 67 to tie for third with Shin Jiyai (74) of South Korea at seven-under-par. Tseng, who began the final round with a three-shot lead over Shin, carded three birdies in a near-perfect round before three-putting the last for a only bogey of the day. “I didn’t feel like I had a three-shot lead. I just focused on playing one shot at a time. I think I did a good job to just kind of focus on myself.”

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YOO WINS KRAFT NABISCO AFTER KIM HEARTBREAKER

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outh Korea’s Yoo Sun-young sunk a 15-foot put in the first hole in the sudden death play-off to lift the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Yoo, who joined Grace Park as the only South Korean winners in the history of the tournament, clinched her first Major title after compatriot Kim In-kyung missed a one-foot putt to win in regulation. “It’s huge. I didn’t think about winning today,” said Yoo, who began the final round in a five-way tie for fourth. “I didn’t want to let myself down, but I think I did better than what I was expecting,” added the 25-year-old, who matched Kim’s final round of three-under-par 69. Kim had been the most consistent contender throughout the wacky final round in which five players exchanged the lead, going bogey-free through 17 holes before a lipping a short par putt to go into extra holes. After landing in the rough with her approach on the first playoff hole, Kim left her birdie putt short from the fringe before Yoo calmly reached the green and buried her winning putt.


AROUND THE GLOBE

LIFE STARTS AT 40 FOR SINGH

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© Asian Tour

ocal Digvijay Singh closed with a flawless six-under-par 66 to end an agonising 12-year wait for his maiden Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open India.

AMAZING VICTORY FOR HEND

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ustralia’s Scott Hend closed with a six-under-par 64 to win the weather-shortened ISPS Handa Singapore Classic on April 8 after inclement weather forced the US$400,00 full field Asian Tour event to be reduced to 54 holes.

play-off or win after Hend had set the clubhouse mark and the bighitting Australian had to wait for close to an hour before he knew he had secured his second Asian Tour title with a winning total of 11-under-par 199.

Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera, Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih, Spain’s Javi Colomo and David Lipsky of the United States were bunched in tied-second on matching 200s at Orchid Country Club.

“It’s amazing especially to have four weeks off and come back and win. It’s great to see some of the hard work and practice that I’ve put in paying off,” said Hend.

As many as three players were SB_06-ExceedYourSpeed.pdf 4/19/12 still in contention for1 either a

“I just wanted it to be over and know whether I’ve won or not. 10:09 LuckilyPMfor me, I won,” he added.

Singh produced a grandstand finish with a 12-foot birdie putt on the last for a 11-under-par 277 total, defeating Asian Tour winners Siddikur of Bangladesh and Gaganjeet Bhullar of India by two shots at the US$300,000 event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGTI. Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit rolled back the years with a 67 to finish in fourth place while overnight leader Ashok Kumar dropped four shots in the last six holes at the Delhi Golf Club to end his campaign in tied eighth place. “This is very special for me. There’s no feeling better than winning an Asian Tour title in India at the Delhi Golf Club. I’ve won on the local circuit before but this takes the cake,” said Digvijay, who charged home with a superb back nine highlighted by four birdies. The win was a major reprieve for the 40-year-old who had lost in Asian Tour card for the 2012 season.

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LIPSKY ON A ROLL WITH CAMBODIAN WIN first play-off hole to win the inaugural US$300,000 HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic on March 17.

The 23-year-old, who won the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School in January, enjoyed his maiden professional victory in front of six-time Major champion Nick Faldo at the impressive Angkor Golf Resort. Starting the day seven shots off the lead, Lipsky closed with a stunning seven-under-par 65 for a 15-under-par 273 total while Filipino Salvador missed

a 10-foot birdie putt on the last hole to claim the outright win in regulation play. “I really can’t believe I’m here right now,” said a jubilant Lipsky, who earned US$47,550 and a priceless winner’s exemption on the Asian Tour till the end of 2014. “The chip-in was unbelievable. I practice my short game pretty hard and I thought I had a chance to make it. It was one of those makeable ones up the hill. Just tried to give it a good strike and see what happens,” added the KoreanAmerican.

JAKARTA HIGH FOR CULLEN

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ick Cullen secured a nailbiting victory at the US$1 million Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open on March 27, giving himself a healthy platform to relaunch a career that was interrupted by back problems in 2011

held at Emeralda Golf Club in Jakarta after a devastating triple bogey on 14th opened the way for playing partner David Oh of USA and Japan’s Yoshikazu Haku to move level with the young Australian.

The 27-year-old left-hander was forced to dig deep for his maiden career title at the OneAsia event

After draining a superb birdie on the 17th to regain a one-stroke advantage, Cullen prevailed with

© Asian Tour

merican rookie David Lipsky A chipped in a superb birdie to defeat a luckless Elmer Salvador in the

a clutch up and down on the last to claim the winner’s share of US$170,000. “If you had offered me this at the beginning of the season I would have had a good year,” said a delighted Cullen, whose win guarantees starts at two Japan Golf Tour Organisation event and the European Tour cosanctioned Volvo China Open.


INDUSTRY TALK

KELAB RAHMAN PUTRA CELEBRATES SILVER JUBILEE

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elab Rahman Putra Malaysia (KRPM) recently marked its 25th anniversary with a celebratory golf tournament and dinner on April 1. The brainchild of the then Deputy Prime Minister Tun Ghafar Baba, the 36-hole club officially opened its doors in 1987 as a recreational outlet for the blooming Bukit Rahman Putra community in Sungai Buloh. Over the years, KRPM has not only remained a focal point for its neighbouring communities and its 4000 strong members, it also attracted legions of domestic golfers looking for a challenging and high-quality golfing experience at an affordable price. Known for its junior-friendly policy, the club not only allows junior golfers to use its golfing facilities, but also hosts numerous junior golf tournaments annually. The club has also produced a strong pool of top notch golf rules officials, who officiate in tournaments across the region. Gracing the occasion was Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, who pledged RM20, 000 for the Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia Junior Golf Development Programme. Ahmad Shabery was full of praise for the club’s commitment and support towards grassroots development of golf. “I am honoured to be at Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia today and am pleased to know that the club has a successful junior golf development programme for

children. I would like to pay tribute to the visionary leadership of the club’s founder, the late Tun Ghaffar Baba and the legacy which he had left behind in terms of nurturing young champions,” he said in his speech. Club president Arthur Wang reiterated the club’s commitment to continue its efforts to produce the next Malaysian number one. “Over the years, many junior golfers have benefited from our support and assistance, amongst them is top lady professional Jean Chua, who is an alumni of the programme. I would like to thank the Minister for his most generous contribution to our efforts and I humbly appeal that this grant of RM20, 000 will be given annually.”

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OLD CLUBHOUSE FINDS NEW HOME significant step for the business which was first established in 2001. “Obviously, we had lots of good memories there but we were looking for a new location within the Bangsar belt for quite a while now, and CityGolf fitted perfectly in terms of our business strategies.”

E

stablished club fitters, The Old ClubHouse is now open for business at their new location at CityGolf Bangsar Shopping Centre, a par-five away from their previous location down the road at Jalan Bangkung. While notably smaller, the new concept studio will continue to offer a full range of customised club fittings, repairs, regripping and reshafting as well as retail of equipment, apparel and accessories in a more relaxing setting. Head club fitter and proprietor Alistair Guthrie admitted that the move was a

“Our synergy with CityGolf is excellent as the target market is the same (i.e. golfers) and we are able to work off each other’s strengths. We’re like-minded in terms of our approach towards business and it’s great to be part of the revamped look of CityGolf,” he said.

“I’m pretty chaffed with the move and the feedback so far has been splendid. Yes, parking may be quite inconvenient but we now offer the benefits of a full swing simulator as well as a good golf professional in Rick Currin, which is a definite bonus for us,” added Guthrie, who noted that Cobra Puma Golf and Ping will be the new brand additions to his custom fitting menu. The Old ClubHouse is open from daily from 10.00m to 9.00pm and is located at the fourth floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre.

Designed to be cosy and comfortable, the new studio has attracted good feedback from customers, so far ahead of its official launch on May 3.

ON THE MOVE Known for her good fashion sense on the golf course, Angie Ng is a welcome addition to the colourful apparel business. Taking up the position as sales and marketing manager of leading golf apparel brand Crest Link, Ng will strengthen the brand’s presence and media relations in Malaysia.


IN THE BAG

BERES IS-02 IRONS

www.honmagolf.com •

• •

Forged from a soft yet thin SAE8655 high rally steel, the clubface is durable but remains ultra springy for higher ball speeds and better kickback performance. Designed with a deeper center of gravity for higher shots with better control. Long and middle irons are designed with an all new L shaped face which helps lower the center of gravity and increase the overall sweetspot. The bottom of the face provides a higher repulsion for maximum distance performance. On the otherhand, short irons feature a 3D weld design for milder swings, maintaining spin control and feel with an emphasis on accuracy and soft feel at impact.

RRP: Prices available upon request at all PanWest outlets SB_08-LongestFairway.pdf

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SELECT PUTTERS www.scottycameron.com •

Select Weighting Technology allows the putter’s headweight to be adjusted per shaft length for proper swingweight. Precision-milled from a single block of the highest quality 303 stainless steel, with the exception of the Big Sur models that feature high grade aluminium heads. Deep milled face contributes for softer feel and sound upon impact, as well as elegantly refined shapes and a Tourvalidated Black Mist finish. New family includes five modern blade models (Newport, Newport 1.5, Newport 2, Notchback, Newport 2.6), two mallets (GoLo, GoLo S), three mid lengths (Newport Two Mid, GoLo Mid, GoLo S Mid), and two long options (Big Sur, Big Sur S) Inspired by champions on Tour, the putters have familiar red dots for a bolder and fresh look

RRP: RM1550


IN THE BAG

INPRESS X Z202 www.yamaha.co.jp •

Features a new face design with an “X” shaped pattern behind the face for solid feel and energy transfer, particularly around the center of the club face and four corners of the face.

A large 460cc titanium head - the largest ever in Yamaha’s history with a profound bulge on the face to straighten out off center hits.

Promotes slight draw due to a 1° closed face angle and suited for average golfers looking for maximum forgiveness and distance.

Brand new Yamaha stock TMX-512D graphite shaft features new Tip Weight Technology (TWT) for extra stability around the tip area where most amount of force is applied during the downswing and higher velocity on impact.

RRP: RM2950 (available at selected MST Golf outlets)

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R11J www.taylormadegolf.com • • • •

Features a 460cc head similar to a R11S but with focuses on ease of use, distance and forgiveness for slight built Asian golfer. Simpler to use and swing package with a triple adjustment Adjustable Sole Plate with Flight Control Technology built-in. A higher MOI due to the Inverted Cone Technology as well as lighter overall club weight towards more ease of use while an increased bulge and roll on the clubface helps average golfers achieve maximum carry and higher trajectory despite off-center hits. Comes fitted with Motore Fujukira 50 graphite shaft for increased swing speed and available in lofts of 9° and 10°

RRP: RM1,890

RAZR Fit Driver

www.callawaygolf.com • • • •

OptiFit Hosel adjusts the face angle in Open, Square or Closed positions at address to improve accuracy and trajectory. Revolutionary forged composite material in the crown that’s lighter, stronger than titanium, allows our engineers to precisely control thickness, resulting in an optimum center of gravity and high MOI A combination of VFT® and Hyperbolic Face™ Technology creates a large sweet spot and high ball speeds across the titanium face for long, consistent distance Aerodynamic contours reduce energy loss from drag during the downswing by 27% compared to the RAZR Hawk® Driver

RRP: RM1,990


IN THE BAG

NIKE’S FASTEST FAMILY EVER Featuring the revolutionary NexCOR face technology, the VR_S range of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and irons deliver massive distance gains by upping the speed limits across the face.

Inside the NexCor Face Technology

Maximises distabce for the widest range of players through a new-speed expanding multi face thickness design. The NexCor infinity design creates a bridge for ultra-thin, ultra-hot faces and unmatched ball speed from every club in the bag. The location of the NexCor technology differs on every club - not every face is identical. For more details, visit www.nikegolf.com

NIKE VR_S Driver • • • •

Features a bigger clubhead, a deeper face and exclusive NexCOR face technology, all to produce more speed at impact for greater distance. New STR8-Fit system offers a 4 range of face-angle adjustability, optimising ball speed, distance and accuracy. Generate more swing speed with aerodynamically-engineered head design and longer, lighter 45 3/4 inch Fubuki shaft. Available in lofts of 9.5° and 10.5° in R, SR and S flexes while ladies’ lofts are 11.5° and HL

RRP: RM1,360

Nike VR_S Fairway • • • •

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Advanced NexCOR face technology and aerodynamic design delivers more speed off the face for more distance off the fairway. L-Face technology positions the weld on the sole to allow for an expanded maximum COR zone from the middle to lower on the face, where the majority of fairway shots are struck. A shallow-faced clubhead designed for maximum speed and minimal draft teams up with a lightweight Fubuki shaft to generate faster, longer shots. Options of 15° and 19° for men and 17°, 20° and 23° for ladies.

RRP: RM840

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Nike VR_S Hybrid •

The fastest, longest hybrid ever produced by Nike, outdistances all the competition combining two big advantages - easier launch and further ball flight. Compact aerodynamic design coupled with the NexCor face technology delivers both the speed and launch performance of a fairway wood plus the accuracy and scoring ability of an iron. Available in lofts of 18,° 21°, 24° and 27° for men and lofts of 24,° 27° and 30° for women

• •

RRP: RM700

Nike VR_S Irons • • •

Constructed of high-strength, ultra thin stainless steel with NexCOR variable face-thickness technology the high COR clubface produces greater energy return, powering higher, longer, straighter shots By placing weight off the face with an undercut constructiion, the Nike PowerBow technology promotes faster, higher launch for maximum carry, straigter ball flight and steeper descent to hold greens Lightweight selection of steel shafts feature ultimate control even with increased swing speed.

RRP: RM3,574

Nike VR_S Forged Irons • • • • •

Combines high-speed performance and meticulpus craftmanship for longer shots and better feel. Features Nike’s thinnest forged iron utilising Japanese SAE 8655 steel for breakout distance and precision performance. PowerBow technology produces faster, optimum launch for maximum carry and steeper descent. Advanced forging process delivers high frequency X3X grooves create more consistent spin in any condition. Available in Nippon 950HT Steel and Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki designed for Nike.

RRP: RM3,336


For the love of a brand Roger Loo and Chong Chee Meng are proud to call themselves TaylorMade-adidas loyalists and a visit to True Golf Shop will demonstrate the duo’s commitment to the brand.

not so good - but it does not change the fact that they come here first. Has your clientele changed over the years? The foundation remains our own students but today, we rely on walk-ins as we expand our market share. Most of our customers are seasoned golf enthusiasts, who identify themselves with the TaylorMade-adidas brand. We also have a large segment of serious golfers, who will like some input on the correct equipment and specifications for their needs and who better to ask than the specialised people themselves. Your business philosophy? Getting the right equipment for a customer or a student. We will never sell something that is not right for you. It is not just about closing a sale because people come to us as professionals, it’s only right thing to do to sell them what will work for their game. It’s not only about maintaining our reputation - golf is relatively a small community and word goes around but also staying true to our profession. “We’re staying true to the old definition of a pro shop - there’s a pro in this shop!” Plans of expansion, if any? We have been in operation at the Sri Damansara Club Driving Range for almost a year but a specialised TaylorMade-adidas GOLF fitting

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How did you start? We were childhood friends and became thick buddies during our teenage years when we used to golf together at Royal Selangor Golf Club. Then, we went to the same golf college (Professional Golfers Career College) in the United States before coming back and embarking on our playing and teaching careers. Many of our students use to come back to us to for their equipments and gear and we had to source it out for them. Our first ‘shop’ was literally our car booths and after some time, we thought it would be good to have an outlet for our students, hence, a small set-up at the Cheras Driving Range around 2005. A year and a half following that, we opened another outlet at our academy at the driving range of the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort. You are identified by the brand - adidasTaylorMade. Was that something intentional?

Therefore, I don’t know how that came about but it was just us, I guess. We had good backing from TaylorMade-adidas GOLF all the while - we have only really ever sold one brand, even from our car boot days. Heng [Lye Guan] is the fifth country manager we are working with now and the support has been phenomenal. I do not think you will get any other retailer, which is committed to just one brand; you can call us the two most loyal people in the industry.

studio will be in operation there soon. We’re also joined forces with another partner to open a second concept store in Bangsar, which will be ready by mid-2012.

The concept store was a novel idea. Whose idea was it? A bit of both - we thought about it and they (TaylorMade-adidas GOLF) paved the road for us. When the opportunity arose, we just seized it and we are four year in with this concept store. It was relatively easy for us as we knew the key people in the brand and they lend us tremendous assistance and advice in building this store. We like to believe that we were very fortunate that they selected us as their exclusive partners. Is it a challenge to carry only a sole brand in your retail outlets? Yes, it is definitely a challenge but also the advantages. There’s two ways to look at it: People may go the another retailer and see all the brands and go “what should I buy?” or you can flip the coin the other side, hence, when people think of TaylorMade, they think about us. Many golfers out there come to us because we are the first to have the full range of TaylorMade-adidas GOLF products. They may buy it elsewhere at another time - that is

TRUE GOLF SHOP

(a TaylorMade-adidas Concept Store) Block C 20-1 Dataran 32 Square Section 19 Petaling Jaya 46300 Selangor Tel : +603 7 960 7343 Fax: +603 7960 7346


GEAR UP

STRAP A ROCKET TO YOUR BALL CONTEST

You’ve heard about it, gotten a feel already and now, here’s your chance to be have a new Rocketballz™ fairway wood in your bag! Answer the two easy questions below and gives us your most creative Rocketballz™ signature to stand a chance to strap a rocket to your own ball!

PRIZE

ONE Grand prize

One (1) TaylorMade Rocketballz™ fairway wood + one (1) TaylorMade Rocketballz™ cap

FIVE Consolation prizes

One (1) dozen TaylorMade Rocketballz™ golf balls + one (1) TaylorMade Rocketballz™ cap Name Address

Email

Club Collection

Telephone

www.lyleandscott.com

Handphone

Current fairway wood brand used: Tick the ONE answer for each questions.

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1.

RocketBallz™ technology with sole-positioned Speed Pocket boosts COR and ball speed dramatically for up to __ additional yards.

2.

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17

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Which of the following TaylorMade Tour professionals uses a Rocketballz™ fairway wood?

Dustin Johnson

Jason Day

• • •

Martin Laird

Pen your most creative ROCKETBALLZ™ signature

Breaking boundaries between between fashion and golf , the fresh and vibrant apparel collection plays with a bright mix of trendy pieces and golfing classics, perfect for the contemporary golfer. Adorned with Lyle & Scott’s 80s insignia of a distinctive bright green eagle, the extensive range features attention to detail and a modern, trim silhouette will help you stay smart and comfortable on the green. The tech-packed yet stylish range focuses on men’s polo shirts, golf jackets, golfing accessories, cardigans, jumpers and sweaters. Full performance range utilises Thermocool technical fibres which have been cleverly mixed with cotton to allow for comfortable play in hot climates whilst maintaining a heritage look.

Available at all PanWest golf retail outlets

Mail your entries to STRAP A ROCKET TO YOUR BALL CONTEST c/o Inpress Media Sdn Bhd

A-3-1 Jalan PJS5/30 Pusat Perdagangan Petaling Jaya Selatan 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor TERMS & CONDITIONS l Contest is open to permanent residents of Malaysia ONLY. l No purchases required. Making a purchase will not increase your chance of winning a prize. l Employees of TaylorMade-adidas Golf Malaysia and Inpress Media Sdn Bhd and their immediate families, as well as employees of advertising agencies and suppliers of good and services to TaylorMade-adidas Golf Malaysia are not eligible to participate in this contest. l To qualify for participation in this contest, complete this form and mail it to the address above. No other method of submission will be accepted. l Incomplete entries and entries with illegible handwriting will be disqualified. l Each person is only entitled to win one prize in this contest. l The closing date date for entries is Thursday (May 31, 2012). l Prize won is strictly non-transferable and non-exchangeable. l Winners release TaylorMade-adidas Golf Malaysia from any and all liability, loss or damage incurred with respect to the possession, use or misuse of any prizes. l In the event of any dispute, TaylorMade-adidas Golf Malaysia’s decision is final and no correspondence whatsoever will be entertained. l TaylorMade-adidas Golf Malaysia reserves the right to amend any part of the terms and conditions without prior notice. l The contest and terms and conditions shall be governed by the laws of Malaysia.

Roma Golf Shoes www.cobrapumagolf.com • • • •

Takes inspiration from the original Puma Roma running shoes made famous during the Summer Olympiads in Rome and Mexico City. Rich combination of full-grain synthetic leather uppers, an EVA midsole and rubber outsole. Replaceable Pride Pulsar Fast Twist spikes promote durable grip and traction on the golf course. Comes with one-year waterproof warranty

RRP: RM390


R

COVERING CARLSBAD BY SCOTT KRAMER

umours had been swirling for the past few months about the fate of Adams Golf. Just three days before decade-long CEO and president Oliver “Chip” Brewer (pix below) was announced to the same titles at Callaway Golf on March 5, I had lunch with two Callaway employees who swore they knew nothing about a new company leader except for the fact that the company was actively interviewing people for the position. Were they being coy or just loyal employees of a public company legally not allowed to say anything? To this day, they both swear they knew nothing of the pending announcement. Now, Brewer is in charge at Callaway. Within three weeks of settling into his desk, he had already asserted his presence by unloading the company’s fading Top-Flite brand to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Brewer’s said that he wants to focus on building up the Callaway and Odyssey brands. Getting leaner was on his priority list. On an CNBC broadcast during the Masters, Brewer said “Top-Flite’s a great brand and it’s been with the company now for several years, but if you look at where we are as a company now, we think the best strategy is really going to be a focus on our core brands of Callaway and Odyssey. It made sense to part company with Top-Flite.” Brewer also hinted that a lot of the company’s growth is going to come from Asia over the next few years. “It’s going to be a big part of our strategy, and certainly one of the positives as we look forward in our business in general,” he said.

Scott Kramer is a veteran golf writer based in the golf equipment capital of Carlsbad, California. In his 20-plus years covering the golf industry, the former senior editor of GOLF Magazine

has

lowered

his

playing index to 5.1, raised his IQ on the sophisticated technology used to make golf Mark King

the first few months, over time we plan to grow Adams to its full potential, whether it be through the expansion of existing product categories or through the add-on of new product categories.”

What is puzzling to me – and many other industry people I’ve spoken with about it – is that King mentioned in a press conference immediately after the announcement that “The voice of our company is being directed to the 0-to-4 handicap player. We definitely sell product to higher handicaps but we focus on the top of the pyramid. Adams Golf is positioned for game improvement with a real focus on seniors and women, which are two categories we “Our mission is to be the best golf company in the don’t compete very well in.” world across all geographies, products and customer demographics, and adding Adams Golf is another Isn’t TaylorMade the company that has successfully important step in achieving that goal,” said Mark King, sold millions of Rescue clubs to higher handicaps, President and CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf, in the seniors and women, and the brand currently press release announcing the purchase. pushing the fact that its RocketBallz fairway woods get 17 more yards per shot? Believe me, 0-to-4 TaylorMade-adidas Golf also announced that it would handicaps are not looking for 17 more yards from keep Adams’ operations in Plano, Texas, and would their 3-woods. Seniors and women are, for sure. So retain key management from the current Adams where Adams fits in, exactly, has not been made team. However, word on the street is that adidas is clear yet. seeking a CEO from either its own staff in Carlsbad, Calif. or from elsewhere. As the deal will not officially Another thing that will be revealed over time is close until the middle of the year, all parties involved whether the decades-long competition between have understandably been rather mum on specifics. Callaway and TaylorMade will heighten here if Brewer handpicks key Adams management to join King did tell me; however, “adidas will keep Adams as him at Callaway. This might potentially be a blow to a stand-alone affiliate, while at the same time bringing TaylorMade. our resources and expertise to support Adams’ continued momentum and expansion. We intend to One thing is for certain, all three companies involved maintain each of Adams’ key product lines. While we here – Callaway, Adams and TaylorMade – have will be focused on integrating Adams into adidas for become stronger since March.

clubs, and stayed even keel on his propensity to miss short putts. But he always brings game to his columns.

In the meantime, TaylorMade-adidas Golf announced on March 19 that it would acquire Adams for approximately $70 million. Officials at adidas initially said that Adams’ focus on game-improvement and command in the senior’s and women’s markets would allow TaylorMade-adidas Golf to focus on younger and low-to-mid handicap golfers.

An Unlikely Threesome

31


TOUR WATCH WITH ASIAN TOUR his victory and loved the winning spirit when he replied to my question on his future goals: “Keep on winning”. Mardan Mamat recently won the ICTSI Philippine Open and the last Malaysian winner on the Asian Tour was Ben Leong in 2008…. CK: I see where you are going with this. It was a watershed victory for Mardan and it showed how much that victory meant to him. Shaaban Hussin was also in contention at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic but was unlucky not to go all the way. Putting results and stats aside, regardless of whether all these players are from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand or India, they have improved in their games and are all capable of winning in any tournaments.

Calvin Koh and Doyle De Costa form part of the dynamic and globe-trotting media team

DDC: The challenge on the Asian Tour has improved tremendously and if you look at the scores, a player who shoots under-par might still miss the cut! That’s the standard of golf now. Give our guys a chance, their time will come soon.

at the Asian Tour. Known for their differing viewpoints on all

happenings and developments on the region’s established Tour.

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David Lipsky

What do you think of the Asian Tour’s newest winners? Calvin Koh (CK): David Lipsky’s potential was never to be doubted since he won the Asian Tour Qualifying School. To be honest, I expected him to take time to settle down in Asia before making an impact, but he fast-tracked his career with a victory at the HANDA FALDO Cambodian Classic. His confidence level remained high at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic where he finished second. He gave Louis Oosthuizen a run for his money at the Maybank Malaysian Open before finishing in tied third place. We expect to see his name prominently featured on the leader board this season. Doyle De Costa (DDC): Digvijay Singh of India showed that life begins at 40 with his victory at the Panasonic Open India. He is one of the nicest guys on the Asian Tour and is known for his amiable character. Outside the ropes he is a keen skydiver and enjoys target shooting! Having said that, it was no surprise why the gallery was rooting for Singh or nicknamed “Diggy” by his peers to finally win his first career title on the Asian Tour.

Of winners and Bubba’s hook shot

During his winner’s press conference, he also received a call from Jeev Milkha Singh to congratulate him on his victory! Needless to say, his brief conversation in the local dialect needed no translation as Digvijay smiled from ear-to-ear during the five-minute phone call. Thoughts on Luke Bleumink’s victory at the PGM Johor Masters? CK: This was why the Asian Development Tour (ADT) was formed, to unearth future champions of the game. Before his Johor win, Bleumink never tasted victory in his professional career. However, through the ADT, he is now packed with confidence and ready to launch an assault on a top-three finish on the Order of Merit at the end of the season which will afford the top trio with 2013 Asian Tour cards. DDC: The first win is always the sweetest and I expect him to be contending for the top three spots on the Order of Merit. I had a brief chat with him after

Shaaban Hussin

© Asian Tour

their insights and thoughts on the

© Asian Tour

things golf in Asia, the duo give

And only one Malaysian player made the cut at the Maybank Malaysian Open? CK: I’m not surprised that the player was Shaaban Hussin. He had a good finish the week before his National Open and confidence is so important in this game. In my opinion, Shaaban’s fight in a field that featured five Major champions, challenging course conditions and media pressure is truly remarkable. He’s someone who has showed great potential, and we should look out for him each time he tees up. DDC: I’m sure the other Malaysian players are not taking their missed cut too lightly, and this minor setback will only inspire them to perform better in the following year. I totally agree with what Calvin said. This is a one-man fight against the other 155 top-class players on one of the toughest courses (Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club) in the country. After watching the Masters, did you try doing the Bubba Watson hook shot on the second play-off hole? CK: I’m quite a straight hitter….When I actually do get proper impact on the ball, which I have to admit, is very rare! DDC: I do it all the time from the tee boxes. The only difference is my ball usually lands on the next hole, sad but true.


GOLFING TALES FROM THE LION CITY

Growing up in a golfing family with a grandmother who was an amateur champion golfer, Justine Moss developed a love of golf at an early age. After moving to Singapore in 1998 Team Singapore will comprise of Koh Sock Hwee, Amelia Yong and Fariza Izanie

W

hen this year’s edition of the Queen Sirikit Cup (QSC) tees off on Tanah Merah Country Club’s Garden course - the venue of the HSBC Champions from April 25 - 27, it’ll be only the second time in the event’s 34-year history that it is being played in Singapore.

When Singapore last hosted the event in 1983, Team Singapore, comprising of Kee Bee Khim, Kathleen Copley and Judy Kurowski, capitalized on their home turf advantage to grab a fourth place finish which has been their best result to date. As to whether the team, which this year includes HSBC Women’s Champion local qualifier Koh Sock Hwee, 22, Amelia Yong, 20, and Fariza Izanie Zain, 21, can rise to the occasion once again and finish further up the ladder remains to be seen.

own communications company a year later, Justine expanded the writing side of her business and currently writes for a number of golfing and lifestyle publications

The QSC, also known as the Asia-Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship, represents the highest level of competition in ladies amateur golf in the Asia Pacific region, with 14 countries sending their top three female amateurs to participate in this annual event that is played over three days. Past participants have included current professionals such as world number one Yani Tseng, Jiyai Shin of Korea, Japanese Ai Miyazato and Australian Karrie Webb. In fact, ten of the current crop of top 30 female players on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings previously played in the QSC, which just goes to show what an important stepping stone this event is to those keen on embarking a golfing career.

from Sydney, and opening her

in the region, with her finger on the pulse of local golf happenings in the Lion City

game and the players from this area. We do not play against the girls from America or Europe but the standard is very high and you have to play well to win. It’s a good measure of where you are with your game internationally and that helps with decisions like turning pro.” The 14 countries forming the QSC circuit are Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong-China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. As to who has the edge in this year’s tournament? Dr Janice Khoo, who is the chairperson of this year’s event and represented Singapore in the QSC in 2003, says,

It’s a tough field again this year with favourites Korea (who have won the QSC 14 times), Australia (eight times) and Thailand (six times) all fielding strong teams. In addition, the world number one amateur Korean-born New Zealander Lydia Ko will also be participating in her third QSC.

“Every team is working towards improving their previous year’s positions. New Zealand is fielding a strong team comprising the world’s top amateur Lydia Ko, who is only 14 years of age. Japan is also very serious in taking the cup home and has come to TMCC with their top eight players to test the course and select the team based on performance of a selection trial at TMCC.”

“The Queen Sirikit Cup is a great event and it’s an honour to play with the best players from the AsiaPacific region”, says Lydia, adding, “As one of only two team events that we play in, with the World’s, the Queen Sirikit Cup is really important for our

She adds, “Korea is confidently keeping their strategy which they have used through the years to win the cup. These are the teams to watch. It will be a very exciting championship.”

The Queen Sirikit Cup

33


UNCHARTED COURSE WITH NORMAS YAKIN When things don’t work out, serious measures are required

Normas

Yakin

considers

himself an all-rounder: a former cocoa and oil palm planter, golf course superintendent, golf club manager, director, lecturer and consultant. He believes there are only two great mavericks in Malaysia; one of them is a former Prime Minister. Modesty, however, prevents him from telling you who the other one is. In his free time, he scribbles at

34

www.mynormas.com

I

n the time between my article in a previous issue to now perhaps there are a few golf courses that has already implemented what was discussed i.e. creating pathways for water to penetrate the soil (you just HAVE to give me points for style: “creating pathways for water to penetrate”?) and thereby draining the surface for better golf. To recap, we talked about removing thatch and/or punching holes or slits on the ground by hollowtining, solid-tining, slicing, spiking, venting or whatever method. This would create – on top of aeration, thatch control, nutrient flow, employment for the committee chairman’s nephew – help for water to be absorbed by the soil. In light of some of the heaviest and freakiest weather pattern observed recently, I bet there may be some disappointments in store for those of you who take great pride in reading, highlighting, cutting and keeping my articles in colour-coded manila files. I can imagine it now: you are standing in the pouring rain. Tractor fixed with the slicer-thingy parked behind you. Water dripping. As thunder and lightning criss-cross the sky, you turn your face upwards and shaking your fist to the heavens, you scream: “Curse you Normas! You may be handsome and good-looking; but you were wrong about drainage!”

Drainage, drainage, drainage and well… more drainage.

Hang on to your tractors now. I may have omitted to tell you one important fact about soil drainage. It is called ‘field capacity’. Think of soil in terms of a cup. Then think of what we discussed in the previous issue as putting a piece of cardboard on top of the cup, poking tiny holes in the board and then pouring water on to it. Some water may soak through the board and into the cup and more will flow through those holes. However, pour enough water and soon, the cup will be full and you cannot pour any more. Simplified and simply put: the cup has reached its full capacity. The soil is full of water and it cannot take any more. Now that is when the other part of drainage appears. We poke holes into the cup so that water can drain

out of it. Therefore, in the golf course, due to ground water levels as well as to avoid disturbing play; most of the drainage is underground and called the ‘subsoil’ drain. Now again, let me remind everybody that this article is written for a golf magazine and not a technical manual. Drainage is such an important aspect of golf course that a whole plan is drawn up on how to drain the golf course right from the start. Nevertheless, let us talk about this drainage in terms of an existing golf course that is already in operation. I’ll tell you the secret about the good drainage in the golf courses that I’ve worked in. I have yet to find a superintendent who dares to copy it anyway. Those that came to learn shook their heads and called me nuts. Those that came to replace me were shocked, made holy signs, slaughtered a few chickens and declared the drainage ‘wasted’. You see, what I would do is I would put the gravel all the way to the top of the drain and then just top it up with sod. The sods are planted a few inches apart from each other on top of the drainage lines and I let them stitch together. What those superintendent worry about can and does happen: within days of the next dry season, no matter how much water you put, those sods will die and you get to see the herringbones on your fairways for a few weeks. It actually does look bad, they are right. My argument is; how many weeks of dry season do you see in a year? In addition, after two years of good maintenance, those sods would have established enough roots that it will not matter anymore. And for many years after that, the golf course enjoys good drainage. I have many more things to share about drainage, but it seems we have run out of space. Don’t forget to get your next copy of The ClubHouse Magazine!


A TEACHER’S TALE

A member of the Canadian PGA

since

Walterhouse

2002, moved

Brad to

Singapore from western Canada to join the Heartlands Golf Schools in 2009. He believes that every single golfer is unique and has different reasons for playing the game, different goals and a unique swing. Noted for his interest in the mental aspects of the game, Brad espoused that golf should be enjoyed, not merely played.

H

ave you ever heard the saying “there are no pictures on the scorecard”? What does it mean? Well it means that what matters in this game are the numbers you put on the scorecard, not what you look like doing it. Three missed shots and one good putt equals par. So do not forget that the name of the game is to get the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible, period. It really does not matter how you do it, just get the ball in the hole. You don’t need perfect shots, or perfect swings, what you really need is a good understanding of what kinds of shots you need to get yourself around the golf course and get the ball in the hole. I meet many golfers who spend more time on the driving range than they do playing the game on the golf course, two or three nights a week on the range but once a month on the golf course. It is great if that is the only thing you have time or budget. It is a very easy way to lose sight of the name of the game, get the ball in the hole, and it is very easy to get caught up in the pursuit of perfect technique and perfect shots when the truth is, you do not need perfect shots to be good at golf. What you need are some good shots, and a whole bunch of shots that are just good enough. For example, on a par 4 you aim down the centre of the fairway with your driver and hit a 25 meter slice

into the right rough and when you get to your ball you have a clear shot from a good lie in the rough. Is there any difference compared to a shot from the middle of the fairway? Not much and it is quite likely you would be happy to play from a good lie in the rough. That shot is good enough. However, when you are on the driving range do you have the same level of acceptance towards a shot that goes 25 meters off line? If you do, then congratulations you are on the right track and your probably building lots of confidence. If you’re a golfer who hits shots on the driving range without planning and evaluating them within the context of the game, be aware that the time you ‘re putting in might be doing you more harm than good. My suggestion is to learn how to plan your practice sessions so that you give the necessary attention to maintaining your technique, and always be sure to dedicate a certain amount of your practice to that real practice which involves hitting towards different targets and evaluating your shots in the context of playing the game. Ask yourself, is that shot have been good enough? Do not make the game more difficult than it already is and do not forget that there are no pictures on the scorecard.

There Are No Pictures On The Scorecard

35


SHORT GAME FIXES WITH ANDREW MYLES

1

2

Though hailing from the Home of Golf, Andrew Myles is very much the Malaysian, having settled down here for close to a decade. A recognised Class AA

3

British PGA professional and a certified AimPoint instructor, he mixes his passion for short game and putting with a methodological

accelerated

performance coaching style. His tips can be found on

36

www.andrewmylesgolf.com

M

any amateur players do not always hit their approach shots as close as they would like, leaving themselves with a high percentage of long putts. Putting from 30 feet or more can lead to many three putts. One of the main factors for this is poor distance control on the first putt. A simple way of improving your speed control is to understand that your body already has an built feel system than can swing the putter at the correct length and speed to roll the ball the correct distance, you just have to unlock this hidden potential.

Focus on feel for long putting

A key to understanding this principle is to throw a golf ball to your friend. Instinctively you will swing your arm and the ball back with the correct length and speed to toss the ball nicely in to their hands. This natural, unrestricted motion is created through one, focusing your mind on the intended target and feeling the weight of the object you are throwing (the ball) in your fingers (pic 1). Two, making a natural, tension free swing of the arm both back (pic 2) and through (pic 3). Throw the balls several times and you will notice that there is no perfect length of swing, it will vary slightly each time, but as long as you keep the

swing uncontrolled and free the results will be the same. Take these natural, instinctive principles in to your putting by making sure that you feel the weight of the putter head in your fingers, visualise the distance between the ball and the hole (including slopes see pic 4) and then swing freely, releasing the putter to the hole (pic 5). Stay committed and watch your feel flourish and your three putts disappear. Wishing you many one putts! Andrew

5


A

fter Resort

legs and

at

A’Famosa

Cinta

Sayang

Golf Golf

& Country Resort, the AGGSG-Adams Golf-FireFly

Golf

Championship

2012

returned to the Klang Valley for its fifth leg at Bangi Golf Resort on April 18.

With a turnout of 100 golfers, participants were once again regaled to a superb afternoon of good competitive golf despite a short rain delay in the evening. It did not however deter the spirits of the golfers, who stayed back for a rewarding dinner later that night.

BECAUSE YOU DESERVE MORE!

The #1 Golf Card Just Got Better

B Medal winner Lim Boon Kiat (18) topped the standings with 40 Stableford points. He received his prize from AGSSG director Dato Tan Cheng Hooi.

Four-handicapper Tan Vi Kung emerged as the A Medal winner winner, accumulating 41 points. He is pictured with Bukit Kemuning Golf & Country Resort club manager Steven Eng [right].

With the AGSSG Golf card, the doors swing open for you at more than 70 golf clubs throughout Malaysia. Enjoy preferential golfing rates, be it on a weekday or a weekend. THE #1 GOLF CARD is now MORE than just a golf card! • MORE than just a plastic card – it’s a bio-energy health card! • MORE than just golfing in Malaysia. Now you can golf in Indonesia too! • MORE tournaments in 2012; the first ever to have its own premium series of golf tournaments exclusively for cardholders. • ALL-IN PRICE which includes Golfer's Insurance and 1-touch S.O.S Auto Assist Service 24/7 ... NOTHING more to pay!

Imran Gucharan notched a one-under par 71 to liftt the gross championship for the leg. He received his prize from AGSSG Links CEO Alam Chong.

PRODUCT PREMIER NEW PREMIER RENEW EXCELLENT 1 NEW EXCELLENT 1 RENEW 1 UTARA NEW/RENEW EX 1 FAMILY PACKAGE

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* Inclusive of mandatory 6% govt. tax

AGSSG LINKS SDN BHD

HQ: No. I-2-5 Block I, Jalan PJU 1A/1, Taipan Damansara 2, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: 603-7842 6911 Fax: 603-7842 6858 www.agssglinks.com.my Operations Office: 1st Floor, A01-1, Block A, Garden City Business Centre, Jalan Dagang Besar, Taman Dagang, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: 603-4270 2926/3198/7670 Fax: 603-4270 2925

Agssg Links Sdn Bhd


TEE BOX

MAXIS TEAM GOLF TOUR

Over RM1 million dollar in prizes for MAXIS postpaid customers way of showing our gratitude to their support. We are excited to bring them attractive rewards and the opportunity to play at the best golf courses in the country as well as the world,” he said during the press launch of the event on April 17. A Kia Sorento SUV is up for grabs for anyone who hits a hole-in-one while fantastic prizes include a RM13,000 Titoni timepiece, smartphones from HTC, Motorola, BlackBerry, HP laptops and golf merchandise are on offer at the ten qualifying legs. Each participant will also automatically receive a Maxis goodie bag worth RM350.

T

he 12th installment of the Maxis Team Golf Tour (MTGT) will reward its finalists to a unique fully-paid golfing experience at the Stone Forest International Golf Course in Yunnan, China. It will be the third time that the grand final of the MTGT will head to China, following Kunming in 2004 and Shanghai three years later. One of the longest running national amateur team championship in the country, the MTGT will see a revised format this year with Maxis postpaid customers only required to form pairs for greater simplicity and ease.

38

Maxis senior vice president of enterprise and government business Fitri Abdullah announced that over RM1 million in rewards and prizes are in store for Maxis customers. “Relationship with out customers is important to us and MTGT in just one

TESCO INVITATIONAL GOLF CHALLENGE Hypermarket chain puts on great show

Tesco Stores (M) Sdn Bhd recently regaled key clients and partners to a golf challenge at Kelab Golf Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah on March 24.

The entry fee has been set at RM248 per person and participation is on a first come-first serve basis. Entry forms can be obtained from the Maxis website (www.maxis.com.my/moc), participating clubs or from event manager Golf People (03 7803 6226). Maxis Team Golf Tour 2012 Schedule May 16 Kota Permai GCC, Selangor June 14 Templer Park Country Club, Selangor Sept 2 Glenmarie GCC, Selangor Sept 8 Meru Valley GCC, Perak Sept 20 Tropicana GCC, Selangor Sept 29 Horizon Hills GCC, Johor Oct 13 Templer Park CC, Selangor Oct 20 A’Famosa Golf Resort, Melaka Nov 3 Bukit Jawi Golf Resort, Penang Nov 8 Tasik Puteri GCC, Selangor Nov 25 - 28 Stone Forest International GC, Yunnan, China

Participants were treated to a splendid round of golf, with good weather persisting throughout until the prize-giving luncheon. Tesco Stores’ new chief executive officer SungHwan Do took the opportunity to thank the guests as well as expressed his appreciation for the continued support by suppliers, partners, government officials and media personnel, which has resulted in the rapid expansion of Tesco hypermarkets around the country. Seven-handicapper David Loo (pix right) topped the sponsors’ category with a score of 38 OCB while Mohammed Rozaidi Md Sharif (9) claimed the honours in the government category with a score of 39 Stableford points. Zulkifli Othman (18) won the media category with a score of 36 OCB.

KGPA PRESIDENT’S CUP Sadad wins on countback

E

ight-handicapper Mohd Sadad Mahmud was the toast of Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam after clinching the President’s Cup on March 18. Sadad notched a gross round of six-over 78, which was matched by Mohd Azmi Ibrahim (7) but the former was declared the winner based on countback. Jaswinder Singh (9) was a further stroje adrift in third. Sadad received the trophy from club president and chief secretary to the Malaysia government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Haji Hassan.


TEE BOX

PRUDENTIAL ASTRO MASTERS

round of the 2012 Prudential Astro Masters at Kota Permai GCC on March 15. It wasn’t easy for the Pahang lad who had to stave off a strong challenge from Kota Permai member Chan Heng Voen, who took the nett honours. The eight handicapper chan finished his round with a six-under 66 but in accordance with Prudential Astro Masters unique rules, his score was adjusted to the maximum fourunder 68.

Hot start for Race to Surabaya

A scintillating one-over 73 gross by Shah Irwan Rusli (pix) ensured that The Race to Surabaya got off to a hot start in the first qualifying

Shah and Chan both claimed the all-expenses paid invitation to compete in the Grand Final in Surabaya on September 13-16. “This is my first final of the Prudential Astro Masters and I am very excited to have done

this well,” said Shah, a member with Royal Pahang Golf Club. “I have been practising hard since December and quite frankly I didn’t expect to perform this well so early in the year. “I have not been to Surabaya and I’m definitely looking to playing the legendary Finna and Taman Dayu courses,” said the young businessman who owns a six handicap. The second leg on March 22 at Kelab Golf Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah saw former footballer M. Chandren turned in a fine two-under 70 gross to qualify for Surabaya grand finale alongside Khalid Hj Zakaria (6) who claimed the nett championship with the maximum allowed score of four-under 68, despite carding a five-under 67.

MIZUNO DREAM CUP Pizul to fly Malaysian flag at Osaka

oyal Pahang golfer Mohammad Pizul will represent Malaysia in R the Mizuno Dream Cup final at the JFE Setonaikai Golf Club in Osaka, Japan from May 21-23.

He earned his ticket to Japan after emerging as the champion of the Malaysian grand final at the Tropicana Golf and Country Club. A total of 30 players, who qualified

from three preliminary legs played at Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Club, Perangsang Templer Golf Club and Ponderosa Golf and Country Club, and two players from the Mizuno Junior Open, were invited to tee off in the grand finals. Mohammad carded an impressive 74 to emerge as the champion and won prizes from Hitachi, GNC, Ocean Potion and Samsonite.

KGPA quarter.pdf

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6:33 PM

103mm width

C

141mm height

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Y

CM

MY

CY

We care for your business needs! For advertising opportunities and enquiries call us at

+603-77722201

or email to info@theclubhouse.com.my

CMY

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Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam (KGPA) is situated within Bukit Kiara, about 18km from Kuala Lumpur City Centre. A 27-hole layout designed by renowned American course architect Ronald Fream. The championship course (Hills and Lakes) is a classic par 72 golf course measuring 5,989 metres with landscaped lush fairways culminating in manicured verdant greens. The third nine (Forest), measuring 2,711 metres is equally scenic and challenging, playing around the natural jungle environment.

www.kgpagolf.com

Call us to book your tee time: Bukit Kiara, off Jalan Damansara, Peti Surat 12137, Jalan Pantai Baru, Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur 50768, Malaysia

Tel: 03-7957 3344 Fax: 03-7957 7821


GOLF DIARY

April 26 - 29 Sarawak Amateur Open Miri GC, Sarawak May 2 - 4 Malaysian Amateur Closed Templer Park CC, Selangor

April 26-29 Ballantine’s Championship Blackstone Resort, Seoul, South Korea US$3,000,000

May 3 - 6 Wells Fargo Championship Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina US$6,500,000

May 10 - 13 Negeri Sembilan Amateur Open Seremban International GC, N. Sembilan May 20 - 23 Etiqa Malaysia Cup TBA

May 10 - 13 GS Caltex Maekyung Open Nam Seoul GCC, Seoul, South Korea KRW1,000,000,000 May 17 - 20 SK Telecom Open Pinx GC, Jeju, South Korea KRW900,000,000

April 4 MALGA vs SGSM Templer Park CC, Rawang, Selangor

40

April 19 - 20 Malaysian Ladies Amateur & Junior Girls Closed Championship Staffield CR, Mantin, N. Sembilan

May 10 - 13 PGM A’Famosa Classic A’Famosa GR, Melaka RM180,000

April 26 - 29 Ballantine’s Championship Blackstone GC, Incheon, South Korea €2,205,000 May 3 - 6 Reale Seguros Open de España Real Club de Golf de Sevilla, Seville, Spain €2,000,000 May 10 - 13 Madeira Islands Open Santo da Serra, Madeira, Portugal €675,000 May 17 - 20 Volvo World Match Play Championship Finca Cortesin, Andalucía, Spain

May 23 - 26 PGM I&P Kinrara Classic Kinrara GC, Selangor RM125,000

May 3 - 6 Luang Prabang Lao Open Luang Prabang GC, Laos US$80,000 May 10 - 13 Singha Pattaya Open Burapha GC, Pattaya, Thailand US$65,000

April 26 - 29 Zurich Classic of New Orleans TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana US$6,400,000

May 3 - 5 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland 1 Archerfield Links, East Lothian, Scotland €218,040 May 10 -13 Turkish Airlines Ladies Open National GC,Antalya, Turkey €250,000

May 10 - 13 THE PLAYERS Championship TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida US$9,500,000 May 17 - 20 HP Byron Nelson Championship TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas US$6,500,000

April 26 - 29 Mobile Bay LPGA Classic RTJ Golf Trail, Mobile, Alabama US$1,250,000 May 5-6 HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup Itanhanga GC,Rio de Janeiro, Brazil US$720,000 May 17-20 Sybase Match Play Championship Hamilton Farm GC,Gladstone, New Jersey US$1,500,000



The ClubHouse April 2012