21 March 2010

Battle for the Champion of Champions 2010 Title

The exciting, the biggest and the most prestigious amateur event in Malaysia is here again!

For the 24th time, Golf Malaysia Champion of Champions Championship will be staged and excitement is definitely mounting. This is THE event that has seen many of its winners, who were club champions, then turned professional and made their mark on regional and international golf scene, such as Roni Lim, P. Gunasegaran, Wong Hung Nung, Irene Yeoh and Cindy Lee. Perhaps the most popular figures are Lim Siew Ai, who is currently playing in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) circuit in the US, and Khor Kheng Hwai, an Asian Tour touring professional.

The 2010 edition of this impressive two-day championship will again take place at the breathtaking Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort in Batu Gajah, Perak. Last year, this 6,482-metre, par-72 championship course was witness to brilliant golf by teenagers Mohd Azman of Bukit Jawi Golf Resort and Kelly Tan of Bukit Banang Golf Club, who captured the coveted Men’s Champion and Ladies’ Champion trophies respectively.

“It is an absolute pleasure for us to welcome the champion participants once again to our resort. I believe this tournament has a long line of history of making the players work hard to earn their title, including instances of a sudden-death play-off to determine the winner,” says Kenny Yap, the executive director of Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort.

“We hope the participants will have an enjoyable time in Perak. Our golf course is in its very good shape in spite of the dry season that we are experiencing now. We think the competition is going to be outstanding and very stiff, considering that the players are club champions from all over the nation.”

As a special treat in conjunction with Golf Malaysia Magazine’s 30th anniversary, a new Seniors’ Champion category will be introduced in this tournament, in addition to the existing Men’s Champion and Ladies’ Champion categories. Among those who have confirmed their participation in this brand-new division are Damai Laut Golf Club’s Ahmad Tarmizi Yusuf, Mohd Salleh Hassan of Royal Pahang Golf Club, Hj Mohd Salleh Sulaiman of Seri Mahkota Golf Club and Haji Hamdan Zambahari.

“I’m happy to be the Seniors’ Champion of three golf clubs and I will try my best to play well in this tournament,” says Haji Hamdan, who will be playing under the Kota Permai Golf & Country Club’s banner.

In the Men’s Champion division, expect a close battle between seasoned players such as Palm Garden GC’s Wong Pau San, Kota Permai GCC’s Jimmy Chia, Damai Laut GCC’s Wan Kamaruzzaman and Kelab Golf Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah’s Tan Vi Kung, along with Singapore’s Sham Chee Keong of Sembawang CC and Mimi Ho of Changi Golf Club.

Past conquerors of the Ladies’ Division at Golf Malaysia Champion of Champions Championship, like Datin Rahmah Arshad of Kelab Golf Negara Subang, June Yap of Kuala Lumpur GCC, Ireen Teng of Tropicana GCR and Palm Resort GC’s Marilyn Tan, will race for the top honour alongside last year’s runner-up Khairunhanisah Azlan Hanif of Kota Permai GCC.

Participants who attain the best Gross score over 36 holes in each of the three categories will be declared the champion of his or her division. Top ten finishers in the Men’s Champion category and top five finishers in both the Ladies’ Champion and the Seniors’ Champion divisions will be awarded fantastic prizes and certificate of merit.

Apart from Gross winners, the overall best Nett scorer over the two days of tournament will also be presented with great prizes. For golfers who pride themselves on accuracy and precision, a set of irons sponsored by Transview Golf will be theirs should they shoot an ace on any of the four par-3 holes on any day of the championship. Long hitters will also be glad to know that attractive prizes await them in the Nikon Longest Drive battle during this championship.

This esteemed amateur championship is proudly organised by Golf Malaysia Magazine with Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort as the host club, through the generous support from co-sponsors Berjaya Air (together with Berjaya Hotels & Resorts), Boehringer Ingelheim (Pharmaton), Nikon Malaysia, TanMan (the official suncare), Gatorade (the official sports drink), Heineken (the official beer), Black ‘99’ Whisky (the official whisky), ONLY Golf (the official apparel), and Sri Damai Chalet and Impiana Hotel Ipoh (official hotels).

14 March 2010

Clash of the Titans

The Malaysian Golf Association (“MGA”), being the National Sports Association and the Governing Body for the sport of golf in Malaysia, is indeed extremely concerned with the unsubstantiated statements and views made by third parties with regards to the sanctioning of the US$6 million CIMB Asia Pacific Golf Classic and the registration of the Professional Golfers Association of Malaysia (“PGA”) and wishes to reiterate our stance:

1. The objects clauses of the Constitution & By-Laws (“the Rules”) of MGA clearly and unequivocally tasks MGA to encourage and promote the pursuit of the game of golf in Malaysia, to promote an annual Amateur Championship, the Malaysian Open Golf Championship for professional and other Championships meetings. MGA’s object clauses do not in any way distinguish the sport that is played by amateurs or professionals.

2. MGA’s object clauses further mandate it to ensure that the sport of golf played in Malaysia conforms with the rules of golf as prescribed for the time being by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

3. MGA’s constitution was approved by the Sports Commissioner’s Office and it is clear therefore from the Rules that it is MGA’s inherent constitutional right, to govern, supervise, manage and oversee the development of the sport of golf, notwithstanding the fact that the sport of golf may be played by Boys, Girls, Men, Ladies and Seniors.

4. The same rules of golf apply to all regardless of whether the sport of golf is played by individuals who are amateurs of if amateurs have moved on to achieve professional status. Championship meetings held in Malaysia cater for golfers who are amateurs or for those who have attained professional status. Examples of such Championship meetings include the Iskandar Johor Open, the Negeri Sembilan Masters, Terengganu Masters, Mercedes Benz Malaysian Masters & the Selangor Masters.

5. Over and above all Championship meets hosted and undertaken by our Affiliates (Golf Clubs) are sanctioned by MGA. In promoting these Championship meetings, MGA encourages third parties to promote and or host such events in Malaysia with the view to provide local golfers opportunities to enhance their skills and for local professionals an additional means to earn a livelihood.

6. MGA is a non-profit entity, wherein its members do not profit neither enrich themselves unlike some other sports entities that cater for the specific needs of its members and or their players. The proposed registration of PGA is a step in the right direction, solely and exclusively tasked with managing, developing and sustaining its members’ welfare and livelihood.

7. Herein lay the material difference between MGA’s onerous obligations in the governance of golf in Malaysia and to that of PGA. PGA is no more than a private entity set out to cater for the specific interest of its members only. It cannot therefore be hardly true to suggest that it represents golf in Malaysia.

8. Be that as it may, it cannot be perceived that there shall exist two governing bodies nor two sanctioning entities one that of MGA and the other that of PGA. The word “Sanction” has been so misplaced and misinterpreted by various parties in the past and MGA reckons that this “uncertainty” needs to be put to rest once and for all.

9. Datuk Thomas Lee should have known best as a former president of MGA, who during his tenure of presidency, had championed and advocated that the right of sanction shall remain within the exclusive domain and jurisdiction of MGA. To blow hot and cold at this late stage when the defunct MPGA is in shambles does not augur well for the growth and development of golfers who have turned professional.

10. A recent and apparent example of a potential ‘hiccup” that may be destined to crystallize when third parties undermine existing sanction procedures set out by MGA, can be seen in the recent announcement of the hosting of a Championship meeting in the name and style of “CIMB Asia Pacific Golf Classic” scheduled for to be held at the Mines Resort & Golf Club on October 28th to 31st 2010. It is interesting to note that the Iskandar Johor Open, a regular scheduled and premier Championship meet of which MGA has sanctioned in the past, is also scheduled for the same weekend.

11. The clash of dates has risen for want on the part of the Event Manager/Promoter for not seeking sanction from MGA. This blatant disregard to adhere to fundamental compliance requirements is yet another example when the development and supervision of the sport of golf can be further jeopardized and compromised if unchecked. As third parties have vested commercial interest in hosting/promoting these meets, the conflict of interest issue is real and apparent.

12. If the sport of golf in Malaysia has to develop in an orderly fashion and manner then this “bickering” and unethical practices by parties who have little or no understanding of the issues on hand must cease immediately. MGA has of recent times, charted new initiatives to cater for the many stakeholders and partners involved in the holistic development of the sport of golf. There is sufficient ‘room’ for all, who have a genuine vision, desire and commitment to embrace good governance and to take the sport of golf to the next level. Anything less is not acceptable.

For the Malaysian Golf Association,
Datuk Haji Mohd Yaacob Mohd Kassim
Vice President

02 March 2010

Whee, Michelle was in Town! :-)

Beautiful and talented Michelle Wie has confirmed her participation in the upcoming US$1.8 million Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. This prestigious event will see 60 players competing on the West Course of Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club from 22nd to 24th October.

We can't wait to see Michelle in action!!

(from left) Robbie Henchman, the senior vice President of IMG; Michelle Wie; YTM Dato’ Tunku Putra Badlishah, the managing director of Sime Darby Property and Zayra Calderon, LPGA’s executive vice president for tournament development and worldwide sales. (Picture by Lee Lai Heng)