Some of the brightest young talents from across the region will light up the fairways of Seri Selangor Golf Club in the second edition of the Selangor International Junior Golf Championship (SIJGC).
Organized by UUM International School Melaka (UUMISM) in collaboration with the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) and promoted by PKNS Golf Management Services Sdn Bhd, the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) event tees off tomorrow at the challenging Seri Selangor course.
A total of 96 players aged between 12 and 18 will compete over 54 holes, in separate boys’ (56 players) and girls’ (40 players) divisions.
The international representation includes contingents from South Korea, China, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.
The Malaysian challenge meanwhile will comprise players from MGA’s national team and national junior development squad, Selangor Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) players, as well as talents from UUMISM and the PKNS Golf Academy.
Both gender divisions will see the players compete individually as well as in a four-player team event, representing their respective countries. Based on the best three daily scores, the team event will see 12 teams fight it out in the boys’ category and 10 teams compete for the girls’ title.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category while the individual boys’ champion will also earn a start in next week’s PKNS Selangor Masters, an Asian Development Tour event taking place at Seri Selangor as well.
“The state government of Selangor is committed to developing sports at the grassroots and promoting it among the younger generations. Golf is one of the sports that we are focusing on, and we are therefore extremely proud to host this prestigious championship which is fast becoming one of the top junior events in the region,” said Dato’ Haji Haris Bin Kasim, State Secretary of Selangor
Players to look out for include India’s 13-year-old sensation Kartik Singh, who is the highest-ranked male player in the field at 201st place in the WAGR.
Kartik was the youngest player to compete in last week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, where he made the cut and
finished tied 59th in windy conditions.
The next highest-ranked male players in the field are Malaysia’s Nathan Wong Tsen Jack (WAGR No. 743) and Shinichi Suzuki of the Philippines (WAGR No. 750).
Among the girls, Korea’s Yang Hyo Jin, Indonesia’s Sania Talita Wahyudi, Alethea Paige Gaccion of the Philippines, and Malaysia’s own Ng Jing Xuen head the list of favourites.
Ranked a lofty 62nd in the women’s WAGR, Yang finished third in the individual event of the inaugural SIJGC held in January this year and was part of the victorious Korean team.
Sania won the RSGC Ladies Amateur Open in Malaysia earlier this year, while Ng is the reigning Southeast Asian Games individual gold medallist. Gaccion was the winner of the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, held in Vietnam in April.
“We are really happy to see such a strong field of international and local players for the second edition of the SIJGC. I’m sure that we will see some amazing skills and healthy competition at Seri Selangor this week,” said UUMISM founder, David Jeong.
“By competing with their peers from other countries, the participants will not only gain valuable tournament experience but also learn how to conduct themselves in an international setting and improve their communication skills,” added Jeong, a Korean professional golfer who has made Malaysia his home for the past 15 years.
Located within the lush grounds of Ayer Keroh Country Club in Melaka, UUMISM offers Cambridge IGCSE education with an option for students to take up specialised golf programmes run by Jeong.
The school also offers golf as a co-curricular activity.
Participants of the SIJGC are fully hosted, with their accommodation, green fees, transport and meals all covered for the duration of the championship.
The official hotel is Royal Chulan Damansara, while the practice facilities are located at the nearby Tropicana Golf & Country Resort.
“While the SIJGC participants include our nation’s leading juniors and young talents from across Asia, I am sure that they will find our golf course to be a worthy challenge. As anyone who has played Seri Selangor will tell you, the course tests you to the fullest with its narrow fairways, sharp doglegs and – last but certainly not least – speedy and deceptive greens,” said Mohd Zubir Idrus, the Chief Executive Officer of Seri Selangor.
A team from Korea’s SBS Golf TV will produce a championship review show that will be telecast in six countries, namely South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Malaysia.
The vast exposure will help promote Selangor as a preferred tourism destination, showcasing the state’s natural beauty and diverse culture as well as the myriad of activities on offer.
Established in 1998, Seri Selangor offers a scenic and challenging 18-hole layout crafted by Australian architect Ross Watson. Featuring tree-lined fairways leading to tricky and slick greens, the course has hosted numerous international events including the Selangor Masters on seven occasions.