Monday, August 10, 2015

Ly Hong wins Siem Reap golf competition

Hometown favourite Ly Hong won the Angkor Amateur Open Golf Championship for the second time in its seven-year run after producing two identical rounds of one under par 7 to gross 142 at the Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap yesterday.

The Cambodian left-hander who is best remembered for a stellar second round performance in the Asian Tour Honda-Faldo Classic of 2012, the year he first won the Amateur Open by eight strokes, thwarted Amish Jaitha’s bid for an unprecedented back-to-back triumph.
Ly Hong (pictured, right), who represented Cambodia in the Indonesian edition of the SEA Games in 2011, is the first player to win the country’s flagship golf event more than once.
After a consistently good first round of 70, India’s Amish Jaitha sharing the same cart as Ly Hong on the second round circuit, carded four bogeys in the back nine.

Ly Hong is presented with the trophy after winning the Angkor Amateur Open Golf Championship in Siem Reap yesterday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Though he recovered with three birdies, one monster 20-metre putt in the 16th by Ly Hong turned out to be the crucial game changer. Ly Hong’s sound short game and putting stood by him all through the event. “I am very happy that I could maintain my consistency in both the rounds” Ly Hong, who won by four strokes ahead of Jaitha, told the Post.

“I had a steady first round, I played the first nine holes fairly well, but that indifferent back nine set me back a great deal, though I managed three birdies including the one in the final 18th” Jaitha said.
“It is a very well run event. I would like to comeback’’ said Jaitha, who went out with one handicap to Ly Hong’s four Arguably the best and most closely contested Open to date saw 120 local and international players battle it out over 36 holes for a wide range of prizesDivision one: the best net score was claimed by Phnom Penh golfer Pichmeta Peou with a two round total of 72 Stableford points.

In second place narrowly missing out on count-back also with 72 points was Calle Lund (Sweden) followed in third place by Siem Reap golfer Im Rahul with 71 points.
Lee Chew Fu (Malaysia) with a fantastic two round score of 83 Stableford points, the highest tally over all net divisions, topped the category ahead of Mohamad Hanafi (Singapore) with 79 Stableford points followed in third place by South Korea’s Dae Hun Han with 76 points.

This year saw the introduction of a seniors division with a best gross and three net prizes on offer.
The best gross was won by Australia’s Geoff Mclaws with strong rounds of 75 and 78 for a total of 153 (+9) The first net prize went to Steven Law Jin Seng (Malaysia) with 79 Stableford points.
In second place with 77 points was Tan Keng Wan (Singapore) pushing Jimmy Kong Tack Seng (Malaysia) into third.

In the ladies division, players were competing for a best gross prize and two net prizes.
Tevy Sareoun, Cambodia’s brightest young golf prospect claimed the gross prize with rounds of 91 and 86 for a two ound aggregate score of 177. First net was taken by Violy Pegels (Philippines) with 73 Stableford points. With 64 Stableford points Jimin Kim (South Korea) was runner up.

As much as $1,000 dollars was raised during the ‘SMART Challenge for Education’ with all winners going into a lucky draw for an iPhone 6 donated by SMART.
Proceeds will go to Family Care Cambodia.
“It’s been a fantastic three days had by all and we’re delighted with the response and feedback from all of the players.

The event has gone from strength to strength and although the prizes are fiercely contested the camaraderie and friendship shown among the competitors is what makes the event so special’’ said David Baron, AGR director of golf in a chat with the Post.

“Ly Hongs’s a worthy champion showing remarkable skill and consistency to post a total of 142.
The heavy overnight rain on Friday evening meant that the course was playing soft and very long.
Ly Hong has a short game that will rival many players in the paid ranks,” David Baron noted.
“In the three days preceding the event we had over 15cm of rainfall and a further 3cm on Saturday evening yet the course was presented in immaculate condition thanks to golf course superintendant Jim Gubricky and his team. The participation from local and international sponsors was very pleasing and I must pay a special thank you to lead sponsors Tiger Beer,” he said.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Full field for Angkor Amateur Open

The seventh edition of the eagerly awaited Angkor Amateur Open Golf Championship tees off this Saturday at the Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap.
A full field of 120 international players, representing 14 countries will hit the fairways of the award winning course in a two-round competition that offers up to 20 prizes in four divisions.

Defending champion Amish Jaitha of India is back again, more determined than ever, to create history as the first player to retain the title since the inaugural Open in 2009.
This year’s field is arguably the strongest ever assembled with 15 players within a handicap bandwidth of 0-5, raising the spectre of a thrilling climax to the fight for the overall Gross Prize that also ensures Championship success.

Defending champion Amish Jaitha of India will be back to defend his crown. PHOTO SUPPLIED

The Kingdom’s most prestigious golfing event which has been fully subscribed like last year will be run in four divisions, offering amateurs of varying handicaps and skills a fair go in their chosen categories.

For the first time, a senior division for players aged 55 and over has been introduced.
Players with a handicap between 0-12 will figure in Division I while the second division is for players in the handicap range of 13-28. The women’s event will run concurrently.
Friday’s official practice round sets the tone for two competitive rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
A lavish welcome dinner, hosted by the event’s lead sponsors Tiger Beer, awaits the participants on Saturday evening at the Sokha Angkor Resort.

In addition to the free flow of Tiger Beer, players will be able to enjoy on-course cocktails mixed by Hard Rock Cafe Angkor, Fruit flavoured Ciders by Brunty’s and Aquarius sports drinks provided by Coca-Cola. Any player lucky enough to score a Hole In One on Hole Number 9 will drive away with a brand new BMW sponsored by BMW Cambodia. On Hole Number 12, players will have the opportunity to take part in the ‘SMART Challenge for Education’ whereby anyone hitting the green will be entered into a lucky draw for an iPhone 6 with all proceeds going to the Charity, Family Care Cambodia.

“We are once again delighted by the response to the event and look forward to welcoming all of the players on Friday, both returning players and new participants alike.
” AGR’s Director of Golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.

“I must take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors who have kindly donated numerous prizes.
We have golf equipment supplied by Puma, Footjoy, Fenix, Srixon, Volvik and Champ in addition to golf holidays provided by luxury five star hotels such as Raffles Grand D’Angkor and Park Hyatt to name a few.

Our main aim is always to allow people to participate in a fun, yet professionally organised golf tournament while showcasing the wonderful destination of Siem Reap.
’’ said David Baron, who is a member of the British PGA.

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. 

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.