Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Thai teen equals course record on way to title



Thailand’s Thongpipat Rattanayanon emerged as the overall winner of the Cambodian leg of the Faldo Series Asia from the under-16 boys category by a widening 10 shots at the Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap on Sunday.

The 14-year-old Thongpipat followed in the footsteps of two previous winners from Thailand, which has been sending out a succession of talented youngsters over the past few years.
Opening the first round on Saturday with a solid even-par 72, the Thai junior blew the field away in the second round with a course record-equalling six under par 66. His two round total of 138 (-6) left him 10 shots clear. In his blazing 66, Thongpipat fired eight birdies, five of which coming on the front nine.

Overall winner Thongpipat Rattanayanon of Thailand receives a medal from David Baron, AGR’s director of golf. Photo supplied


After reaching the turn in 33 strokes, he showed remarkable calm to complete the tough back nine with no dropped shots, cruising home with six pars and three birdies. “Thongpipat stood out immediately when I met him on the range during the practice round. He is naturally talented and technically gifted young player with an excellent attitude to match,” AGR director of golf David Baron said. “He is a strong boy and at just 14 years old he is certainly a name to remember. I wish him every success in the grand final.”

“Yet again the Faldo Series Cambodia was a great success, showcasing some of the region’s future champions. I was very impressed with the way all the players conducted themselves throughout the event and, as always, I was blown away with the ability of some of the youngsters,” Baron added.
“Anyone shooting 66 at 14 is a rare talent, and its with thanks to platforms such as the Faldo Series Asia that such talent is given the opportunity to shine and take their game to the next level,” Baron, a member of the British PGA, said.

“The grassroots clinic conducted by PGA head professional Alan Martin was a huge success. It’s now our responsibility to further develop grassroots golf in Cambodia to ensure we see more home grown talent in next year’s event,” Baron said.
The boys U18 and 21 divisions, which were merged, produced a Thailand one-two, with Thanaphum Khanchitworakun claiming top honours by six strokes from runner-up Saranyapong Teeranon.
Thanaphum came out strong in the second round with a three under 69 that helped him comfortably claim the division.

The boys U16 division was won by Paolo Barro of the Philippines with scores of 78 and 74, six shots clear of Ariyawat Juprang of Thailand.
Winning the girls division and qualifying for the grand final was Jenjira Jinangkul (Thailand) with two solid rounds of 73 and 75 claiming a narrow two shot victory from runner up Soktaerodh Sean (New Zealand) who fought to the end with a gutsy final round 75, which was the low round of the day for the girls.

The honour of getting through to the Asia Grand Final at Missions Hills early next year as the Cambodian National qualifier went to Tevy Saroeun. Though Tevy did not have her A game with her this week, she is well equipped to work hard this summer and perform well in China next year.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Focus on Local Talent at Angkor Golf Resort

Asian Golf Industry Federation
June 12, 2015

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Junior golf development will be to the forefront when the fourth edition of the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship tees-off this weekend.
To be played over the award-winning, Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort course on June 13-14, the third leg of the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia season has attracted entries from Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Thailand. However, it will be the performance of the Cambodian youngsters and the host club’s efforts to popularise the Royal and Ancient game that will capture local attention. Leading the challenge for Cambodia is Tevy Sareoun, who will be making her third consecutive appearance in the regional qualifying event that rewards its age-group winners with places in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be held at Mission Hills China next March.


Japan’s Yuki Kamasu, 21, receives his trophy from Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills on March 20. Photo supplied

David Baron, Director of Golf at the Siem Reap venue which is a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, said: “Tevy has been working hard on both her game and physical conditioning over the past 12 months and we wish her the best of luck.”
Baron said the opportunity for Tevy and her compatriots to compete in a tournament of the stature of the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship is critical to their progress.
“Since its inauguration in 2012, the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship has played a crucial role in helping to raise the profile of the Royal and Ancient game in a country where golf is still very much in its infancy,” he said.

Sir Nick Faldo, who will be present at the Grand Final, a World Amateur Golf Ranking event, said: “When we launched the Faldo Series Asia 10 years ago it was our hope not only to produce future champions but also to promote and develop the game in emerging golfing nations around Asia.
“I take tremendous pride in the fact that golf is starting to take off in Cambodia and that the course that I designed in Siem Reap is playing such a significant role in helping the game to grow.”
In the Angkor Golf Resort’s continuing attempts to spread the golfing gospel, Alan Martin, the club’s Head Professional, will conduct a clinic for competitors following the first round and will also stage a grassroots clinic for students of the nearby Family Care Centre located at the Phum Thnarl Primary School.

Baron said: “Junior golf development is something we feel strongly about and the Faldo Series provides a fantastic platform for talented junior golfers to develop and succeed in the game.
“This year we will be working very closely with the local community, schools and charity organisations with the goal of introducing Cambodian children to the game of golf.”
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and will include a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

AGR taps Alan Martin as head pro

Siem Reap’s Angkor Golf Resort has snapped up PGA professional Alan Martin, a highly reputable coach from the St Andrews Resort, to enhance the guest experience at the award-winning Sir Nick Faldo-designed links and bolster its academy and grassroots development programs.

Almost 10 years as a pro, Alan Martin was looking for a new adventure at the start of 2015 and he has now got his way by joining the AGR team in June, hopping over to Cambodia from a one-month teaching position he last held at the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur.
“Alan Martin is an excellent addition to the team and I’m looking forward to working with him.’’ said AGR’s director of golf David Baron, who is himself a member of the British PGA.

Alan Martin has been snapped up by Angkor Golf Resort to help bolster grassroots development programs. AFP

Martin appears eager for a new challenge.
“The Faldo Design Championship golf course is very impressive and when I visited it felt right . . . It was a similar feeling when I applied for the job in St Andrews,” he said in a statement made available to the Post. “Angkor Golf Resort is new and fresh and I’m excited to get started and looking forward to implementing my ideas and knowledge.

“Southeast Asia is a booming golf destination and a large part of the remit will be developing a new purpose built golf academy and driving range with an emphasis on growing the game from grassroots in addition to further developing the golf operation and service standards of the resort.’’
Alan Martin, whose amateur days came out of Eyemouth and Dunbar GC in Scotland, turned professional in 2006 and graduated from the British PGA Degree Program certified by the University of Birmingham in April 2010. Shortly after, he took up the position of head assistant professional at the Duke’s Course in St Andrews.

“As golf pro, the opportunity to work in St Andrews, the home of golf was a dream move. My first year in town and the 2010 British Open was just around the corner,’’ Alan Martin said.
In February 2014, a place on the Kohler Company Exchange Program took him to Kohler, Wisconsin, and to the American Club and Whistling Straits, host of 2010 and 2015 USPGA and 2020 Ryder Cup.
Martin applied for the Head Pro position at the Angkor Golf Resort while he was in Malaysia and made contact with David Baron and flew down to Siem Reap. “You could say right place at right time,’’ Martin said.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cousin team win golf contest



They were affectionately branded the red-hot cousins from India and Amish Jaitha partnering Khusaal Thackersey proudly lived up to that praise by winning the inaugural Angkor Four-ball championship in a runaway fashion at the Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap on Saturday.

Neither the scorching sun nor the hard-chasing pack could slow them down as one of the top fancies for the title, Jaitha (1 HCP) and Thackersey (4 HCP) produced two flawless rounds of 67 and 66 for an impressive 133 showing up 11 under par to win by a widening nine shots the first-ever paired event, which will now become a regular feature in the Kingdom’s annual calendar.


The winning pair Khusaal Thackersey (left) and Amish Jaitha pose for a photograph. 
PHOTO SUPPLIED

Saving five shots in the first round for a 67, Jaitha, who won last year’s Angkor Amateur Open on his first visit to Cambodia, was in good nick even as Thackersey was stringing along some good openings. The pair was even more aggressive in the second round closing out with a 66 that slammed the door shut on early contenders Paul Mcnally and David Branning who ended up with a two round total of 142, two under par and nine strokes behind the winners.
“We’re delighted for Amish and Khusaal, they thoroughly deserved their victory. They combined flawlessly and their experience and talent shone through,” AGR’s director of golf, David Baron told the Post yesterday. “They conducted themselves impeccably over the three-day event and are certainly a credit to the game. We look forward to welcoming them back to Angkor Golf Resort.

“We are pleased with the response to our first Pairs Championship. We had a strong field of local and international players numbering 60, which gives us a great platform to build on. It’s Important to us that the players not only experience a professionally organised event but they enjoyed their overall stay in Siem Reap,” said Baron.

The Cambodian pair of Sokhamony Tong and Pichmeta Peuo with 132 (-12) emerged as the Nett winners ahead of another local pair Heng Sang Wat and Im Reahul 133 (-11).
The prize for the best first round score, excluding the overall winners, went to Sim Sou Yong and Sothea with a net 66 while the second round honour in this category was picked up by Chris Black and Jimin Kim (67 net).

The event was supported by a host of sponsors including Tiger Beer, Coca-Cola, Hard Rock Cafe. Meanwhile, Raffles Grand D’Angkor provided top class food and beverage services.
Among attractive prizes offered in various categories was a range of luxury golf holidays provided by Raffles Grand D’Angkor, Anantara and Park Hyatt and Golf Equipment provided by Fenix Golf and Volvik.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Amish Jaitha of India takes Angkor Amateur Open title

Friday, August 8, 2014

Record turnout for Amateur Open



The sixth annual Angkor Amateur Open teeing off tomorrow at the Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap has been fully subscribed, surpassing last year’s record turnout.
The strongest field of 126 ever assembled for the Kingdom’s blue-ribbon amateur golf event includes three past winners – American Don Bland, Cambodian Ly Hong and reigning champion Michael Moir of Scotland.

With players from 17 countries to swing into action, the race for the overall title will be as fierce as it will be exciting. Left-hander Ly Hong will lead the local charge in the company of 16 compatriots as he tries to recapture the title he won in 2012.
The talk of the contest is American Eddie Cho, who has a handicap of 2 and will be hoping to make that form count.

Scotland’s Michael Moir will attempt to defend his Angkor Amateur Open title this weekend at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap. PHOTO SUPPLIED 

Division A has its strength in depth, with a dozen players holding handicaps ranging from 0 to 5 and 30 more players with handicaps below 8.
The largest group of 44 players falling into the 11-19 handicap bracket will contest Division B, while 22 players figure in Division C.
The women’s event has attracted a record 18 players, and all of a very competitive standard. Phnom Penh resident Aim Guilfoyle is among those fancied for the title, in a field filled with a number of seasoned Singaporean players.

The star attraction once again will be Australian professional Scott Hend, who will conduct a clinic for the benefit of the players during today’s practice session.
After a record 2013 season on the Asian Tour, Hend finished second on last year’s Order of Merit, claiming three titles and racking up a whopping $600,000 in prize money along the way.
“It is a mark of the stature of both the venue and the event that the Australian pro has always been eager to get back to AGR,” resort director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.
“In return for the hospitality shown, Hend is a willing ambassador for Siem Reap golf tourism while travelling the world on the professional circuit.”

He added: “I am delighted by the turnout and response we’ve had this year. In recent years the event has become well established and continues to grow each year.
“The Amateur Open is a professionally organised tournament on a world class course but we also focus heavily on ensuring the over-all hospitality and guest experience is memorable.
“We want guests to have fond memories of Cambodia when they return home and encourage their friends to visit the Kingdom,” added Baron, who is a member of the British PGA.

In addition to numerous value-added perks included in the player’s package, there are over $10,000 worth of prizes to compete for. These range from luxury all-inclusive golf holidays to Vietnam, Bali and Malaysia to an array of top-end golf equipment and goodies.
Away from the heat of the battle, also on the program is the Charity Challenge, with all donations going to a local charity organisation in Siem Reap province.

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.