Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Big field for Angkor Open



This year’s Angkor Amateur Golf Open is set to get bigger and better than ever before with the August 9-10 event at the Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap almost fully subscribed, well before the entry deadline two weeks from now.

The expected line-up of 128 players will be a reflection of the event’s growing popularity among international amateur golf adventurers and Siem Reap’s global appeal as an exciting tourism sport destination.
“With a growing field of international players, it is important that we continue to enhance the event each year, and this year will be no different,” AGR director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.

Australian professional golfer Scott Hend is set to be the star attraction at the Angkor Amateur Golf Open on August 9-10 at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap. AFP


“We are delighted to have teamed up with a growing number of prestigious sponsors and partners this year, including our long-term, loyal supporters. “We must express our gratitude to Tiger Beer for once again being the lead sponsor and exclusive beer during the tournament and gala dinner.
“This is something the competitors very much look forward to,” he added.

Major golfing brands such as Titleist and Taylormade have shown their support this year along with Fenix Golf and Malaysia’s leading golf retail distributor Transview Golf, adding a number of attractive prizes. Johnnie Walker also makes a return to the Cambodian golf scene by coming forward to support the event.

The weekend’s star attraction will be the return of the big hitting Australian professional Scott Hend, who finished second on the Asian Tour money list last year.
After a good run on the Asian and European tour, Hend will once again challenge the risk for reward Faldo course at AGR, sharing some golf time and experience with the competitors.
Players can challenge the Australian pro on par-3 holes and also benefit from his complimentary golf clinic.

The event will also be loaded with fun and entertainment for the players. The AGR has teamed up with the immensely talented and popular Phare Cambodian Circus, whose artists will showcase their skills during the weekend.
On the top of this exciting show, the players will also be treated to some lilting music by one of the Kingdom’s most sought after eight-piece band, CamboJam.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thai student fires record 66 on way to Faldo Series honours

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three locals in fray for Faldo Series honours



Young golfers from six countries will compete for a spot in next year’s Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills in China when the third edition of the Cambodian leg of the Faldo Series Asia tees off this Saturday at the award-winning Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap.
Split into three different categories this year, the 25 golfers in the fray – 17 boys and eight girls – will vie for five Mission Hills tickets on offer.

Sir Nick Faldo will offer at least one Cambodian a place in his Series Asia Grand Final next year in China. AFP

The winner of the Boys U21 group and two qualifiers each from the Boys U16 and Girls sections based on the best 36 hole gross score will be eligible to take part in the ninth Asia Grand Final, which is a world amateur golf ranking event.
As a special gesture, six-time Major winner Faldo has offered a place in the Grand Final for the best performing Cambodian among the three in contention this year irrespective of their order of finish.
While Sokhamony Thong and Pich Meta will represent Cambodia in the Boys U21 category, 14-year-old Tevy Sareoun is among the eight contestants in the Girls competition.

It may be recalled that a similar special offer had been made to Cambodia’s lone competitor Seng Vanseiha in 2012 despite him finishing down the field. But for personal reasons the youngster could not make the trip.
“We hope to build on the success of the last two years and benefit more young golfers from Cambodia and neighbouring countries,” AGR director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.
Thailand heads the list of entries with 15. The others in the field are three Cambodians, three South Koreans and one each from Malaysia and the United States. Interestingly, there are also a pair of twins from New Zealand of Cambodian lineage.

The first round tees off at 9am on Saturday with the final round beginning at 8:30am on Sunday.
The 2013/2014 Faldo Series Asia schedule features a record 22 tournaments in 18 countries, including four in mainland China, two in India and others in the Philippines, Taiwan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand. Bangladesh, New Zealand and Australia are new additions to the ever growing list of Faldo Series venues.

The series is supported by The R&A, ISPS Handa and Mission Hills and is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation.
In keeping with the Faldo Series’ convention of encouraging grassroots development alongside top class competitive experience, the AGR will be organising a clinic for 20 students from the Siem Reap-based charity organisation Build Your Future Today (BFT).
Founded by a Khmer Rouge survivor, BFT is working to make life better for the locals.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Faldo to cast eye on locals



Six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo will be watching closely the performances of local golfers, particularly teenagers Tevy Saroeun and Thong Sokhamony, who are expected to lead the Cambodian charge in the third edition of the Faldo Series Asia event lined up for Siem Reap’s Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort from July 11 to 13.

“I take enormous pride in helping the game take-off in non-traditional golfing nations. Seeing golf grow in popularity in Cambodia is tremendously rewarding for everyone involved in the Faldo Series,” said Sir Nick in a communication released to the Post on Monday.
“I’m greatly encouraged by the progress we have witnessed over the past two years since we launched the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship and I’ll be following closely the performances of the local players.”

Thong Sokhamony will lead the local challenge in the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship. PHOTO SUPPLIED

In the girls section, 14-year-old Tevy Saroeun, being talked about as a fast emerging talent, is bound to garner lot of attention while Cambodian hopes among the boys will be pinned on 18-year-old Thong Sokhamony.

“I have strong hopes that Saroeun or Sokhamony can make the breakthrough for Cambodia this year by qualifying for the Grand Final. It would be a reward for the effort that they have put into their games,” said AGR’s director of golf David Baron. “Supporting junior golf is an underlying goal of ours, which is why we are delighted to continue our partnership with the Faldo Series Asia by once again hosting the event,” he added.

Players from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand, apart from local players, made up last year’s field. Though players from the Asia-Pacific region are expected to make the bulk of this year’s field, the event organisers are hopeful of an uptake in local participation.
For the first time, Cambodian juniors will be invited to take part in an unofficial age category so as to help them get valuable competitive experience.
A grass-roots clinic, which is almost an integral part of a Faldo Series event, affords the local student community the best chance to enjoy an introduction to golf.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

AGR to host Faldo Series on July 11-14






Sim You Wei of Malaysia hits a bunker shot during the Cambodian leg of the 2012 Faldo Series at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap. Photo: Sreng Meng Srun

The different category winners from each leg will gather for the grand finale at Mission Hills Golf Club in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in March next year.
Amateur golfers aged between 12 and 21 are eligible to play to the Faldo Series event, which has a handicap limit of 28. The last date for entries is July 5.

Boys and girls born between 1993 and 2002 of any nationality can enter for a fee of $70.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Faldo Series Asia event and host the Cambodian qualifying leg,” Angkor Golf Resort director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.
“Supporting any form of junior golf is an underlying goal of ours. The field will be made up of international junior players from the [Asia-Pacific] region and hopefully we can see an increased number of local participants this year.”

Baron is a member of the British PGA, who spends much of his spare time conducting free coaching classes for juniors and students in Siem Reap.
“I have strong hopes that one or both of our leading Cambodian players can make the breakthrough this year and qualify for the grand final,” said Baron. “This would be a timely reward for the effort that they have put into their games.”
One such player is Sokha Mony, who was a member of the triumphant Cambodia team at the recently held FCC Nations Cup.

Baron noted that this year, the Angkor Golf Resort would also be inviting Cambodian juniors to take part in an unofficial age category in order for them to gain valuable experience.
“The grassroots clinic will also continue. This is where we invite several local schools along to enjoy an introduction to golf,” he added.
For entry details for the Faldo Series in Cambodia, phone 063 767 688 or email info@angkor-golf.com or go to www.angkor-golf.com.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ly Hong lands Liberty Cup




Cambodia’s leading amateur golfer Ly Hong won the second edition of the winner-takes-all 2014 Liberty Cup after a two-round 78 gross score in the Stableford tournament which concluded at the Sir Nick Faldo-
designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap yesterday.
The left-handed Ly Hong, who had represented Cambodia in both the 2011 SEA Games and the 2010 Asian Games, shot a one-over-par 73 to lead the field in the first round which was played at the Phokeethra Country Club on Monday.

Cambodia’s Ly Hong clinched the 2014 Liberty Cup in Siem reap yesterday. Photo Supplied

He handily kept the lead by firing an identical score at the AGR for a tally of 78 points under the fixed Stableford point system. The long-driving Ly Hong placed great importance on his short game and putting. “I’m very happy to have participated in Liberty Cup for the second year in a row. I really enjoyed myself and have built good relationship with other participants,” the 42 year old told the Post. “Second shots are very important, especially [at the] Angkor Golf Resort, and they turned out well for me.”

The Kingdom’s cup of joy overflowed after a similarly sounding Lee Hong emerged as the men’s nett winner, even as the 2013 champion Alex Yap of Malaysia could only finish third.
As many as 14 local golfers were in a field of 88 drawn from Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The event was jointly organised by Malaysia’s Liberty Golf Services and Cambodia-based PSD travel.

The 2013 Carlsberg Golf Classic champion Roszali Baharuddin of Malaysia finished tied for 11th. “It’s my first time to Cambodia and it’s an amazing country. My deepest gratitude to Carlsberg Malaysia for sponsoring me to participate in this great event,” he told the Post.
Meanwhile, Lillian Wong of Malaysia became the first women’s champion with a two-round score of 69 in a field that included eight of her compatriots.

The organisers invited BFT, a Siem Reap-based children’s charity organisation for a charity drive – a hole-in-one competition. While the kids enjoyed the golfing bit, they also entertained the tournament participants to a grand dance performance.
The key partners to the Liberty Cup were Transview Golf, Titoni, Carlsberg, RHB Bank, Angkor Golf Resort, Phokeethra Country Club, Casillero del Diablo and Vittel.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Faldo Series Asia gets set for return to Siem Reap course



Siem Reap’s Angkor Golf Resort, which carries six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo’s creative imprint, will host the Cambodian leg of the Faldo Series Asia in either the last week of June or the first week of July.
After two successful seasons, the event returns to the Kingdom, which features among 14 countries hosting 19 tournaments through the year as British legend Faldo continues to paint a global picture for youth golf.

Thailand's Watcharasit Trachuentong plays during the 2012 Faldo Series Cambodia championship at Angkor Golf Resort. photo by Sreng Meng Srun

Apart from Cambodia, the 2013/2014 cycle includes events in mainland China (four), India (two), the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.
Traditionally the series concludes at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China, with the Asia Grand Final which is a world amateur golf ranking event.

The Faldo Series Asia is supported by The R&A, ISPS Handa and Mission Hills. It is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation.
Meanwhile, 70 of the most promising junior golfers in Asia and five winners from the 2013 Faldo Seires Grand Final at The Greenbrier in West Virginia will reach Mission Hills for the Eighth Asia Grand Final set for March 11-13.

“Last March, Luo Xue-Wen was crowned our first Chinese champion at the end of a landmark week for golf in China, where we also celebrated Guan Tianlang’s trip to Augusta,” Faldo said in a statement made available to the Post.
“I always look forward to returning to Mission Hills. It is their support, together with The R&A and ISPS Handa, which allows us to bring opportunity to the finalists and thousands of young Asian golfers each year.”

Established in 1996, 40 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 30 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year. Past winners include Major champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.

This September, Sir Nick will begin taking students at a full-time residential academy for education and golf development in the United States. The first ever Faldo Series Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona, is also home to the Faldo Series USA and marks the next significant step in the programme’s history.

Thursday, October 17, 2013





The award-winning Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap is well known as one of Sir Nick Faldo’s classy designs.
It is also the home of the six-time Major winner’s annual grassroots development initiatiative Faldo Series, the second edition of which concluded two weeks ago.
If the present director of golf at AGR, David Baron, carries out his own master plan for the development of the game, the resort could well house a purpose-built international golf academy in the near future. What is driving Baron is the passion he shares with the resort in promoting golf through junior initiatives.
“As a member of the PGA I am happy to be a part of this and willing to give my time and use of the AGR facilities to enthusiastic kids who want to learn,” Baron, who is from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, told the Post in an exclusive chat yesterday.

David Baron holds a coaching session for local children at Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap. PHOTO SUPPLIED

With a wealth of experience both as a PGA professional and top level management executive behind him, Baron, who has extensively coached juniors in Hong Kong and China, is setting out to help Cambodian youngsters who are keen on developing their golf skills,
“I taught hundreds of junior golfers at the prestigious Hong Kong Golf Club. However, golf is more mainstream and accessible to kids in HK with a strong golf association backing,” the AGR director of golf pointed out.

Another well-structured golf body Baron had worked with was in China, where he opened a PGA-endorsed academy as the first Jack Nicklaus-branded academy.
The first phase of his long-term plan is already in motion. He has been spending his time in imparting basic golf lessons at the AGR to students from several Siem Reap schools to spread the game’s appeal among the youth.

In the weeks and months to come, Baron hopes to organise regular golf clinics and nine-hole tournaments in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to follow up on the splendid efforts being made by former Australian amateur team captain Roger Hunt, who has been serving the Cambodian Golf Federation as an adviser for the past five years in a purely voluntary capacity.

Baron considers support from other clubs and the CGF vital to the success of his mission. Using golf, Baron is also helping a major health initiative by partnering with Cambodian Diabetes Association, encouraging the local NGO to bring kids to the resort for educational classes on the dangers, causes and prevention of diabetes.

A free golf clinic will be conducted for the benefit of these children with an emphasis on fitness. The leader of the NGO, Lorraine Fraser King, is fully supportive of this partnership.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


HS Manjunath

It was 12 years ago that Michael Moir beat the freezing cold to win the Scottish Boys Golf Championship at his home town course of Royal Aberdeen.
At the Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap yesterday, the Scot, now a proud owner of Bangkok-based sports-apparel brand Fenix, relived that teenage triumph in parts to grab top honours in the Angkor Amateur Open after a suspense-filled final round.

Scotland’s Michael Moir won the 2013 Angkor Amateur Open yesterday at Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap by a single stroke over runner-up Ly Hong of Cambodia. PHOTO SUPPLIED

He had six layers of clothing when he made that piece of history as a teenager in sub-zero conditions. But on a hot, windless day in the city famous for Angkorian-era temples, he could have done with a bare minimum.
“Sure of that” Moir coyly told the Post in a clubhouse conversation after his two round gross 148 was good enough to edge out last year’s winner Cambodia’s Ly Hong, who was agonisingly one behind at 149.

The left-handed Ly Hong, who had carried the Kingdom’s aspirations both at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, found the drink instead of the fairway on the 18th and with it drowned his chances of forcing a possible play-off. The Scotsman came away safe and sound, though his second round five-over par was a pale shadow of his brilliant first round 71, which in fact matched an identical round by guest professional Scott Hend.

Australian Hend, who is indisputably the longest hitter on the Asian Tour, marked his inspirational presence with a second round 69 for a regal four under 140. The bar was so high that the Beat the Pro challenge, which carried some lucrative offers for the novices, was never quite on.
“This is my first visit to Cambodia. I like the course. Driving from the black tees makes a huge difference and I really enjoyed my golf and the hospitality,” Hend, who has made Flordia his home for the past 10 years, told the Post.

The fifth edition of this growingly popular amateur event will be long remembered for a happy coincidence of an Australian pro and a Scottish amateur raising its profile and polishing its image.
Hend was the first pro to wear Moir’s Fenix brand, which indeed sponsored the Australian in Siem Reap this year. In the end, it turned out to be a win-win for both Hend, who arrived from Russia two days before the event and Moir, whose father is a long time resident of Phnom Penh.
“I missed last year’s event, [so] I am happy to be here winning this year,” said Moir, who had a word of praise for some of the Cambodian golfers he played with.“I think some of the Cambodian players like Ly Hong are really good. The country needs some time to develop.”

While three past winners, Tim Orgill, Don Bland and Ly Hong lined up this year, the fourth, Stuart Puzzey could not make it.Despite that disappointment of losing out on the title, Ly Hong had his own rewarding moment when he was declared the winner of Division 1 on the basis of his net 139 ahead of Australia’s Mark Penfold, who also recorded the same total but was relegated to second on the count-back system.

With a net 142, Rahoul won Division 2 ahead of the 144 posted by Thong Sokhamony, who was Cambodia’s lone entry in the recently held Faldo Series event at the same venue.
Ros Sarin (net 141) came out on top in Division 3 ahead of Chua Meng Ann (144).

Karen Buenaventura of the Philippines was too good for her only rival for the women’s title, Rosemarie Gale of Australia. The Filipino posted an impressive two-round net of 143 to Gale’s 182.

“This year we set three new records,” said AGR Director of Golf David Baron.
“We had the largest number of entries ever – well over 100. We had the largest number of nationalities represented at 14 and we had the largest number of repeat guests.”

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

THAI TEENAGER TAKES FALDO SERIES TITLE IN CAMBODIA WINNERS ALSO HAIL FROM MALAYSIA AND HONG KONG

1 July 2013: Watcharasit Trachuentong from Thailand claimed a narrow victory in the second Faldo Series Cambodia Championship at Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap.  The 17-year-old was one of two Thais to qualify for the Asia Grand Final in China along with winners from Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Watcharasi-Trachuentong---Boy-U21-and-Overall-Winner

Trachuentong (Boys’ Under-21) fired rounds of 72 and 73 on the Faldo Design course in Siem Reap to finish tied on one over par with overnight-leader Aaerishna Shahsthy (Boys’ Under-16) of Malaysia.  As age-group winners, both players will join Sir Nick Faldo for the eighth Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen but it was the Thai teenager who claimed the overall trophy thanks to a stronger final round.

The girls’ division also went to a count-back with 16-year-old Andrea Au from Hong Kong edging Thailand’s Onkanok Soisuwan, 12, to the win.  However both girls also qualify for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event at Mission Hills next March.
The second Faldo Series Cambodia Championship featured a range of nationalities from Cambodian to Indonesian to five players from New Zealand.  In a bid to grow golf in the local community, the tournament also involved school-children from Siem Reap who enjoyed a free coaching clinic before watching the competitors in action. 

Leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 145 – Watcharasit Trachuentong (THA) 72-73; 146 – Poovadol Leeartharn (THA) 73-73.  Boys’ Under-16: 145 – Aaerishna Shahsthy (MAL) 71-74; 147 – Thanaphum Khanchitworakun (THA) 75-72.  Girls’ Under-21: 151 – Andrea Au (HKG) 75-76, Onkanok Soisuwan (THA) 75-76; 165 – Pinkaew Trachuentong (THA) 85-80.