21 May 2009

Golf Malaysia Champion of Champions Championship 2009

Two talented 15-year-olds dominated a field of club champions at Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort in Batu Gajah, Perak, on 28 March.

In the Men’s Champion division, Mohd Azman of Bukit Jawi Golf Resort defeated two past champions of the tournament, favourites Kalana Ibrahim of Miri Golf Club, and Sibu Golf Club’s Lee Ka Tung.

The Ladies’ Champion division was captured by Bukit Banang Golf Club’s Kelly Tan, the first day leader, who never let up on the second (and final) day by firing a 3-under par 69 to earn the title.

Mohd Azman (left) and Kelly Tan, the 2009 champions

Azman, who started the day one shot behind Lee, garnered two early birdies on the 4th and 6th holes, both par-5s, of the Raintree nine to finish on a 2-under par 142, three ahead of Lee and Haziq Hamizan of Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

“I am so happy to be the Champion of Champions. Frankly, I was quite nervous going into the final round because I was paired in the same flight with [Lee] Ka Tung and because he is such an experienced player, I felt pressured. After I steadied my nerves, I convinced myself that my game plan was to just play my game and not try to chase the leader. My aim was to shoot under par and I did it!” declared Azman, who, after his win, stated he took two months to prepare for the tournament. “I am determined to defend my title next year and win again.”

Haziq and Lee shot identical scores of 1-over 145 for the second and third places respectively. Defending champion Kalana Ibrahim was able to grab the fourth with a 146, despite a disastrous double-bogey on the par-3 No. 17.

Johor lass Tan, who is a Malaysian Golf Association national squad player, ended day one at even par, which gave her a 10-shot lead over the rest of the ladies. She continued her commanding play and cruised to a whooping 23-shot victory over another teenager, Khairunhanisah Azlan Hanif, of Kota Permai Golf Club, who had rounds of 83 and 81.

“Yesterday, at the beginning of the tournament, I felt a little pressured because everyone was talking about Pulai Springs Resort’s champion Korean player, Kim Do Yeon, but after she returned with an 89, I knew I was going to be the champion, no matter what,” said Tan, who started golf at the age of twelve and had four birdies against a lone bogey on day two. “My game plan was to play a bogey-free round and to make as many birdies as I can. I missed a few of them, but managed to cover those up and every shot I hit kind of worked out. It was a nice way to finish and I am hoping to come back to win again.”

If Azman and Kelly do return and win again, they will join previous back-to-back Champion of Champions winner Im Man O, of Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, who won in 2005 and 2006. The men’s championship record for multiple winners is still held by four-time winner Wong Hung Nung, who won in 1989, ‘91, ‘93 and ‘94. The women’s champion of champions’ record is held by Seremban International Golf Club’s Dorothy Ng, who was the 1995, ‘96 and ‘98 title holder, with Datin Rahmah Arshad claiming the 2002 and ‘06 titles.

The Invitational crown went to Loong Chet Siean (handicap 11) of Clearwater Sanctuary with a 151 nett.

Kenny Yap, the chief executive director of Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort, said: “I was really impressed with the performances of the clubs’ champion players. They all hit great drives and it’s been a great week here at the resort, with participants coming from different parts of the country. My congratulations to all the champions.”

The longest drive winner was Jenos Tinggal, from Sabah’s Tambunan Golf Club, and Tan, with distances of 264 and 242 metres respectively. The hole-in-one prize of an exclusive Tempur mattress worth RM70,000 went unclaimed at hole No. 3.

Organised by Golf Malaysia magazine, this year’s championship was supported by Ashworth, Svenson Hair Centre, Men’s Skin Centres, Nuvafemme, Cambert, Nature Valley, Black 99, SunPlay 130, Isomax, Daisy Springs and Heineken.

Final Scores (Gross)
Men’s Champion of Champions 2009
Champion: Mohd Azman (Bukit Jawi Golf Resort) 71, 71 = 142
Second: Haziq Hamizan (Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club) 72, 73 = 145 ocb
Third: Lee Ka Tung (Sibu Golf Club) 70, 75 = 145
Fourth: Kalana Ibrahim (Miri Golf Club) 73, 73 = 146
Fifth: Chan Soo Keong (Kulim Hi-Tech Golf & Country Resort) 78, 71 = 149
Sixth: Abel Tam (Royal Johor Country Club) 73, 79 = 152
Seventh: Tan Chee Kean (Meru Valley Golf Club) 79, 75 = 154
Eighth: Jackson Loo (Staffield Golf Resort) 76, 79 = 155
Ninth: Tan Vi Kung (Kelab Golf Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah) 78, 78 = 156
Tenth: Mej (R) Md Nasir Hanapiah (Kelab Tentera Udara) 76, 81 =157

Women’s Champion of Champions 2009
Champion: Kelly Tan (Bukit Banang Golf & Country Club) 72, 69 = 141
Second: Khairunhanisah Azlan Hanif (Kota Permai Golf Club) 83, 81 = 164
Third: Liew Kwang Yen (Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort) 82, 86 = 168
Fourth: Ireen Teng (Tropicana Golf & Country Club) 83, 86 = 169 ocb
Fifth: Marilyn Tan (Palm Resort GC) 80, 89 = 169

Invitational Champions (Nett)
Champion: Loong Chet Siean (11) (Clearwater Sanctuary GR) 71, 80 = 151
Second: Zahari Hj Abu Bakar (Kuala Kangsar Golf Club) 81, 74 = 155
Third: Zaikry Sany (10) (Damai Laut Golf Club) 71, 85 = 156
Fourth: Hamizan Mohammad Derus (10) (Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club) 81, 78 = 159 ocb
Fifth: Nizam Manaf (14) (Teluk Rubiah Golf Club) 80, 79 = 159

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