Tuesday, July 6, 2010

GOLF: MLAO ATTRACTS 120 PLAYERS



 A TOTAL of 120 players, including defending champion and US-based Michelle Koh, will vie for the 27th Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open title when it gets underway at The Mines Resort and Golf Club on August 
3-5, 2010.
The much awaited tournament, MLAO for short, will feature leading golfers from 13 participating countries, namely Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and for the first time, players from South Africa.
One of the best organised ladies’ tournaments in the region, MLAO’s fast-growing reputation was illustrated by the overwhelming response, so much so organisers MALGA had to stop accepting entries three weeks before the official closing date on June 30.
Malaysia will be represented by Michelle Koh, who became the first Malaysian to bag the title since Lim Ai Lian’s four successive wins from 1997 to 2000, after finishing seven strokes ahead of compatriot Chua Tze Jean for a three day total of 207 last year.
Other current top players in the country such as Iman Dato’ Nordin, Aretha Pan-Herng, Diana Tham, Michelle Low, Yong Mei Khuan and Dayanitha K will feature as well.
 
 MALGA has also decided to provide the much needed exposure and encourage youngsters such as 12-year old Kellie Kan, the most promising player at MALGA’s Malaysian Ladies Closed Championship in March, 11-year old Siti Zulaikha Shaari and 14-year old Sarfina Vinota Seretharan to compete in this MLAO.
YAM Tunku Puteri Tunku Dato’ Seri Jawahir  Tuanku Jaafar, President of Malaysian Ladies Golf Association (MALGA), also announced a strategic alliance with host The Mines Resort & Golf Club which will continue to stage MLAO for the next two years.
In announcing founder of Mines Resort City,  Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew as MALGA advisor, YAM Tunku Puteri Jawahir said:  “We are truly honoured that YBhg Tan Sri Lee has officially accepted the appointment of being MALGA’s Advisor and we are proud to form this strategic partnership with The Mines Resort & Golf Club in our bid to develop ladies’ golf to greater heights.”
Also present at the launch were Tan Sri Lee, MALGA Executive Director, Puan Rabe'ahtul Aloya Abbas; Tournament Director, David Parkins; and General Manager The Mines Resort & Golf Club, Zainurin Jaafar.
A delighted Tan Sri Lee said:“With the inclusion of golf as an event in the 2016 Olympic, events such as MLAO are much needed to help create an international competitive arena for players to gain precious skills and knowledge.
“The participation of our golfers in international tournaments and especially the staging of some of these tournaments on our shores is an undeniable fact that we have what it takes to join the ranks of some of the bigger nations in golf.”
Tan Sri Lee however acknowledged that the country needed to make the step up particularly in developing potential homegrown champions.
He added: “To that end, it is also our prerogative to continuously support and offer our assistance where we can to help our golfers achieve their potential and in doing so present Malaysia with another accomplishment”.
MALGA Executive Director, Rabe’ahtul Aloya Abbas who is also doubling up as MLAO Tournament Coordinator, added: “We have managed to raise the bar and now MLAO is recognised as one of the most premier and prestigious ladies amateur open competitions in the region. MALGA has been working hard in building good rapport with various ladies golf association in the region and this explains the reason behind the overwhelming response for this event.”
On the Malaysian team, Rabe’ahtul or fondly known as Raby added:  “We expect our players to perform well and we hope our US-based Michelle Koh as the defending champion will not feel too much pressure in the face of a strong challenge from the likes of Thailand’s Yupaporn Kawinpakorn, a silver medalist in the Laos SEA Games and MLAO champion in 2008.”
Other players to watch include Ines Putri T. Chandra from Indonesia, Melissa Loh from Singapore, Anya Tanpinco of the Philippines and Mimi Ho from Hong Kong.
Raby said: “This will be an exciting tournament to witness”.
(Courtesy of Loose Canon)

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