| Fadhil Yunus |
EIGHT countries have been confirmed to compete in the 54th South East Asia Amateur Golf Team Championship at The Empire Hotel & Country Club next month.
Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and host country Brunei Darussalam will take part in the tournament on October 13-16.
Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha bin Pengiran Metasan, President of Brunei Darussalam Golf Association, during a press conference yesterday said this would be Brunei’s third time hosting the competition, having previously held in 1992 and 2003.
The competition is split into four categories – the Putra Cup, Lion City Cup, Santi Cup and Kartini Cup.
Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha said the tournament is a good opportunity for Bruneians to compete with golfers from other countries.
“Through this championship, there are many Asean golfers who achieved world standards.
“Among them are Danny Chia, Ben Leong and Airil Rizman of Malaysia, Mardan Mamat of Singapore and Lam Chih Bing of Singapore, Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand,” he added.
“Brunei will be taking part in the Putra Cup with four players and Lion City Cup with three.
“For the Santi and Kartini Cup, we can only field two players for each because we have a handicap on that one.
“The scores of two players will be counted. We have no alternative but to go for the minimum”, Pengiran Haji Md Yussof bin Pengiran Haji Bahar, Vice-President of BDGA, said.
From next year, the age limit for the two junior tournaments – Lion City Cup and Kartini Cup – will be under-16 events.
“It is high time that we adopt the R&A international practice for junior events,” Datuk Mohamed Zain Yusuf, Secretary-General of Asean Golf Federation (AGF), said.
Brunei requested the AGF through the Secretariat arrange for more seminars on rules of becoming director of operations for the tournament.
“That has been more conducted intensively in Brunei. So in the future there will have their own people to undertake this responsibility,” Datuk Mohamed Zain said.
“We through the Secretariat have always been talking to R&A. And R&A have been extremely supportive of this event. All the Asean countries are members of R&A and their objectives are to bring the standard of golf to be on par with the rest of the world.
“On our preparations for the upcoming Championship, we have been busy with our course preparation in order to be competitive.
“As what we did when we previously hosted it, we do not cut corners.
“We want this golf course prepared to a professional level,” Pengiran Abd Rahman bin Pengiran Haji Tuah, The Empire Hotel Golf Club Manager, said.
For the last three months, the club’s course maintenance team have been preparing the fairway, greens, and roughs.
The Vice-President of BDGA has also appealed for all golfers and volunteers to assist them in running the championship as it involves more than 100 participants.
“I appeal to volunteers who have some knowledge about golfing to come forward and register their names with The Empire.”
The 7th Annual General Meeting of the AGF will be held on October 15.