| Fadhil Yunus |
THE region’s top golfers in the country have to progress through an amateur ranking system before eventually climbing to new heights.
During a press conference for the 54th South East Asia Amateur Golf Team Championship, which Brunei Darussalam will host next month, Datuk Mohamed Zain Yusuf, Secretary-General of Asean Golf Federation, said these golfers are strenuously tested by the national governing body.
Before the golfers turn professional, they are all trained by the national governing body.
In the past, top golfers including Malay-sians Danny Chia and Airil Rizman, as well as Mardan Mamat of Singapore, all went through the gruelling qualification process.
According to Mohamed Zain, there are two separate professional golfing bodies – one which oversees competitions and sponsorships and another that looks after the interest and welfare of professional golfers.
Thai golfer Thongchai Jaidee has played in the European Tour, Masters and the Open.
“Once you join the rank of professionals, the first step is to play in the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event. The top 20 would qualify for the Asian Tour. Once you’re in the top 65, you are invited to play in the joint European-Asian Tour.”
“That’s how you graduate and then get invited US PGA events. That’s how they move up the ladder.”