| Fadhil Yunus |
THE opening ceremony of the 54th Southeast Asian Amateur Golf Team Championship was held at The Empire Hotel & Country Club yesterday.
The guest of honour was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Laila Diraja Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hazair bin Haji Abdullah.
The highlight of the ceremony was the introduction of delegates representing all seven participating countries.
The delegates include Brad Schadewitz and Joanne Mckee (Hong Kong), Erlangga Tribuana (Indonesia), V Gunalan (Malaysia), Jun Galindez (Philippines), Roko Kho (Singapore), Kanes Nitiwanakul (Thailand) and Fabian De Rosario (Brunei).
The minister in his message said efforts such as organising this tournament go a long way towards making Brunei a golfing destination.
“Golf is fast becoming even more popular in the region, both at the competitive and recreational levels. Team competitions have the added benefit of encouraging exchanges, teamwork and forging lasting friendships among players and audiences alike,” added the minister.
Meanwhile, Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mustapha bin Pengiran Metasan, President of the Brunei Darussalam Golf Association (BDGA), said the championship would give participants opportunities to interact and exchange opinions.
Secretary-General of Asean Golf Federation (AGF), Datuk Mohamed Zain Yusuf, in a foreword, highlighted that the SEAATGC remains one of the region’s top sporting fixtures, attracting a significant regional audience and the best golfers from Asean countries as well as Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea.
“The championship is Southeast Asia’s most prestigious amateur golf event. It has a long history, with its inauguration in 1961 at Royal Selangor Golf Club by the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, who also donated the beautifully crafted rose golf trophy,” he stated.
The secretary-general added that Asean had produced many talented players each year and reiterated the need to invest in the future in order to gain the success they desired.
“AGF’s intention is to build on the solid foundation that is already established in the member countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam,” he added.