Sunday, October 31, 2010

Holy Cow! US$1,000,000 birdie...

BEN Crane of the United States had to wait until the final hole, where his birdie hit a jackpot of US1,000,000 in the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic at the Mines Golf and County Club.
He was tied on 17-under with Brian Davis of England, who had finished earlier, and the prospect of a playoff loomed large when his birdie attempt shot landed eight-feet from the pin at the 18th.
But Crane did not miss a beat and the sent in the ball with ease, and jumped with joy to celebrate the windfall at 18-under 266.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Second Round CIMB Asia Pacific Malaysia

131 Ben Crane (US) 67-64, Pariya Junhasavasdikul (Thai) 66-65; 132 Ryan Moore (US) 64-68, Ricky Barnes (US) 63-69; 133 Carl Pettersson (Swe) 65-68; 134 Adam Scott (Aus) 69-65, Luke Donald (Eng) 67-67, D.J. Trahan (US) 67-67.
135 Kevin Streelman (US) 69-66, Tom Gillis (US) 69-66, Rickie Fowler (US) 68-67, Ernie Els (RSA) 67-68, Martin Laird (Scot) 66-69, Thongchai Jaidee (Thai) 66-69, Charlie Wi (S Kor) 65-70, Brian Davis (Eng) 65-70.
136 Tim Clark (RSA) 67-69, Michael Sim (Aus) 67-69, Mardan Mamat (Sing) 66-70; 137 Thaworn Wiratchant (Thai) 71-66, Siddikur Rahman (Bang) 69-68, Heath Slocum (US) 68-69.
138 Robert Allenby (Aus) 72-66, Retief Goosen (RSA) 69-69; 139 K.J. Choi (S Kor) 70-69, Arjun Atwal (Ind) 68-71; 140 Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thai) 73-67, J.B. Holmes (US) 73-67, Noh Seung-yul (S Kor) 71-69; 141 Bill Haas (US) 72-69, Y.E. Yang (S Kor) 72-69, Tetsuji Hiratsuka (Jpn) 71-70, Kevin Na (S Kor) 70-71, Lam Chih-Bing (Sing) 69-72.
142 Ryan Palmer (US) 72-70, John Senden (Aus) 71-71, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 70-72, Marc Leishman (Aus) 70-72; 143 Andrew Dodt (Aus) 68-75;
144 Shaaban Hussin (Mas) 72-72.

Paria and Crane in command

Ricky Barnes of the US plays a bunker shot in the second round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia yesterday. — Picture by Osman Adnan
Pariya, who had an opening round of 67, was in dazzling form with a six-under 65.

By Jugjet Singh

THAILAND'S Pariya Junhasavasdikul and Ben Crane of the United States shared the half-way lead in the US$6 million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic on 11-under 131 at the Mines Golf and Country Club yesterday.

Pariya was in classic form as he after an opening round of 67, he hit a six-under 65. And not to be outdone, Crane returned a seven-under 64 to tie at the top.
Malaysian Shaaban Hussin is entranched at the bottom after returning an identical one-over 72 for a two-over 144 total.
Overnight leader Ricky Barnes and Ryan Moore, both from the United States, were a stroke back while world number eight Luke Donald of England and Australian Adam Scott climbed into contention with a 67 and 65 respectively to lie three behind the leaders.
Three-time Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa warned his rivals he was capable of going low at the weekend after ending the second round in equal ninth place on 135 following a 68.
While the round of the day belonged to Crane, Pariya, with his parents and coach amongst the large galleries, stole the show by storming home with five birdies over the closing seven holes.
“I’m not thinking about the money. I’m just thinking about the lessons I can learn from these guys. Hopefully I can step up to the challenge and play like them,” said Pariya.
"My putting is cooperating very much and my ball striking has been good. If your putting is up there, you’re not far off the lead. We’ve been working on finding consistency in the game and that’s been a reason for my form this year.”
Pariya said he felt more nervous having his coach, Shane Wilding, watching his every shot than playing alongside many of the world’s leading stars.
"It’s the first time he (coach) is watching me and I’m a little nervous as he might see something in my swing but apparently, he hasn’t,” smiled Pariya.
“It’s always one shot at a time but sometimes you see that this guy is so good that you don’t want to get in his way. I’m nearly on top of the lead and I don’t want to shoot 80 tomorrow. Of course these things are in the back of your mind and you have to put it aside. I set my goals for each round which is to enjoy 18 holes with my playing partner. When it comes to my shot, I’ll take care of my own business,” he said.
In his first visit to Malaysia, the 34-year-old Crane took advantage of some solid iron play to give himself a chance of winning a second title of the year.
“It was a fun day. I haven’t really been overseas other than the British Open and we are having a great time and enjoying what Malaysia has to offer,” said Crane, who is making his first start since finishing tied 17th at the Tour Championship last month.
“I got off to a fast start. I hit a nice wedge shot to about three feet for birdie on the first hole and that always feels good and frees you up a little bit. I really did well not to think about results and I didn’t even know what I shot until I was done. But I knew it was something good because I played well all day.”
Scott, who has won titles in China and Singapore previously, showed he was back to his best form after a month-long break in Australia. After making two bogeys in his first four holes, the dashing Australian fired six birdies and an eagle from 25 feet on the 17th to move into contention.
“I certainly felt more comfortable out there, not only with the golf course but with the swing as well. I think there was a bit of rust after a month off. But getting back into a flow of competition golf can take some time and it felt good to put a good one up there today,” said Scott, winner of the Texas Open this year.

Shaaban consistent in front of mum-in-law

Shaaban Hussin discusses with his caddy in the second round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia yesterday. — Picture by Osman Adnan

SHAABAN Hussin, if anything, was consistent in front of his mother-in-law yesterday.

He returned another one-over 72 for a two-over 144 in the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.
Malaysia’s sole challenger started shakily, suffering double bogeys on the fifth and 12th, and a bogey on the 18th against birdies on the fourth, 11th, 13th and 14th.
“Everybody, from my friends to my father and mother-in-law were following me again today (yesterday). Some of them took leave specially to watch me play. I feel very happy with their support,” exclaimed the lanky 30-year-old.
Shaaban said his double bogeys were mistakes that came when he tried too hard to impress the gallery.
“On hole No 5, I pushed my drive into the water and on the 12th, I suffered another erratic drive where my shot ended in the trees. My driving was not at its best today (yesterday) as I felt like I was on a holiday outing with my family and friends,” he quipped.
His best putt of the day came on the 14th when he holed from 14 feet from the edge of the green.
“That putt was probably the highlight of my week so far,” he said.
Shaaban, who was elated to play alongside Malaysian Open champion and Iskandar Johor Open runner-up Noh Seung Yul of South Korea, said: “I’m very happy to have played with the teenage superstar as he hits the ball really long and I learned a lot from him.
“His (Noh) approach shots are so accurate and I learned that if I want to play better on the international stage, I need to improve on my iron shots,” said Shaaban.
“I hope to do better in the next two days as my goal now is to improve my position. If you look at the rankings, I am the underdog here but that's not going to stop me from ending up in a good position.”

Friday, October 29, 2010

CIMB Asia Pacific first round scores

63 - Ricky Barnes (USA)
64 - Ryan Moore (USA)
65 - Brian Davis (ENG), Carl Pettersson (SWE), Charlie Wi (KOR)
66 - Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA), Mardan Mamat (SIN), Martin Laird (SCO)
67 - D.J. Trahan (USA), Michael Sim (AUS), Ben Crane (USA), Tim Clark (RSA), Ernie Els (RSA) Luke Donald (ENG)
68 - Heath Slocum (USA), Arjun Atwal (IND), Rickie Fowler (USA), Andrew Dodt (AUS)
69 - Lam Chih-Bing (SIN), Tom Gillis (USA), Kevin Streelman (USA), Siddikur (BAN), Adam Scott (AUS), Retief Goosen (RSA)
70 - Marc Leishman (AUS), Kevin Na (USA), K.J. Choi (KOR), Marcus Fraser (AUS)
71 - John Senden (AUS), Thaworn Wiratchant (THA), Tetsuji Hiratsuka (JPN), Noh Seung-yul (KOR)
72 - Shaaban Hussin (MAS), Y.E. Yang (KOR), Robert Allenby (AUS), Bill Haas (USA), Ryan Palmer (USA)
73 - J.B. Holmes (USA), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA)

Flawless Barnes eight-under

Ryan Moore follows through his fairway shot in the first round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia at the Mines Resort and Golf Club yesterday. Moore shot a 64 to lie second. — Picture by Osman Adnan

RICKY Barnes of the United States played a "stress free" round of eight birdies to lead the US$6 million (RM18.5 million) CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia by one shot at the Mines Resort and Golf Club yesterday.
He had an eight-under 63, after finding 17 greens and only missing the first hole.
Countryman Ryan Moore shot a flawless 64 to lie one back while South Korea's Charlie Wi, a seven-time Asian Tour winner and a regular on the PGA Tour, shared third place with England's Brian Davis and Sweden's Carl Pettersson with identical 65s.
Thailand's Pariya Junhasavasdikul and reigning Asian Tour No 1 Thongchai Jaidee shot 66s, as did Singapore's veteran Mardan Mamat, who enjoyed two eagles over his closing four holes.
Barnes, the strapping golfer who won the Eisenhower Cup in Saujana Golf and Country Club in 2002, remembers the heat even after eight years.
"I remember the heat back in 2002! I had to fuel up before going out there and it felt good. Today (yesterday), after nine holes I felt kind of hot but was prepared to face the weather.
"I have good memories in Malaysia and hopefully I can keep the week going," said Barnes.
Moore was more at ease with the course and looking forward to winning his first title in his last tournament of the year.
"It is nice to shoot seven under, anywhere, anytime. So to do it in a tournament in the first round at a course which I've really never played, was a good way to start," said Moore.
"I recently moved to Dallas, where it is just as hot as Malaysia, and maybe that helped me. I have not won any tournament this year, and it would be nice if I could continue with this form for the next three days and end my season with a title."
Even though he has been here for a week, the last three holes drained his energy.
"I had to drink a lot of water and was all right until the last three holes where I could feel the energy leaving my body. I will just have to be better prepared for the end game in the next three rounds," said Moore.
US-based Wi, who won twice in Malaysia previously, birdied his closing two holes to stay close to the leader.
"We got three more rounds to go and I really enjoyed the course. If you want to win a tournament, you have to be as close to the lead as possible," said Wi, who is chasing his first PGA Tour victory.
The front-runners upstaged their more illustrious rivals, as the tournament's two highest ranked stars -- World No 8 Luke Donald of England and 11th ranked Ernie Els of South Africa, hit 67s.

Shaaban one-over 72

Shaaban Hussin lines up his putt in the first round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia at the Mines Resort and Golf Club yesterday. Shaaban fired a one-over 72. — Picture by Osman Adnan

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIAN hope Shaaban Hussin had a legion of fans following him, but he made too many mistakes on the first three holes and returned a one-over 72 in the first round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia to end up joint 34th yesterday..
And he admitted that instead of a boost, his friends made him nervous.
"I have to admit that I felt pressured and made too many mistakes in my opening holes.
"There were many spectators in my flight, and I felt like I was inside a football stadium!
"After they announced my name on the first tee, my friends cheered loudly like I had just scored a goal!"
Despite the opening hiccup, he felt that he played reasonably well at the Mines.
"I have never had so many friends following me before but I tried to maintain my rhythm and my feel.
"I handled that rather well, but my putting was not really good," said the 30-year-old.
But Shaaban is not worried as he still has three rounds to go.
"I need to play my normal game tomorrow (today) and I know I can achieve it because I shot a very good round in practice (66).
"I want to show my friends that I can play well and score."
He played alongside John Senden of Australia who returned an even 71 yesterday.
"He did not pressure me but he did tell me to keep up with the flight in front of us as they were playing too fast and were about one and a half holes in front of us at one point."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shaaban feels like million bucks

By Jugjet Singh

SHAABAN Hussin, the sole Malaysian golfer at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia, is assured of US$50,000 (RM154,750) even before he tees off, but is looking at the bigger picture and is gunning for the US$1 million winner's cheque.
Shaaban qualified for this weekend's big event after winning the CIMB Asia Pacific Malaysian qualifier at the Mines Golf and Country Club, and now hopes his knowledge of the course will help him achieve his dream.
"Weeks before this tournament, I set myself a target of finishing among the top five. But today (yesterday) I changed it to the title purse itself.
"It would be a pity to let millions of ringgit leave our shores in a foreign hand," said Shaaban, 30, who played in the recent Iskandar Johor Open where he finished tied 44th with rounds of 72-71-74-68 for a 285 total and earned US$6,500.
"After winning the qualifier I was given a free hand to play at the Mines but I could only take up the offer last week because I was busy playing on the Asian Tour.
"Wow! I was amazed with the transformation of this course since the qualifier. It was so easy then, but now it plays much longer with plenty of rough to be careful of.
"But still, I have a good feeling because I am a long hitter, and all the other golfers would also find it challenging."
As for his preparation leading up to the tournament, Shaaban said: "I have been clocking many hours at the Mines the last week and all my rounds have been consistently four-under. This has spurred me further because I feel the winning score should be around 20-under."
His best round at the Iskandar Johor Open was a 68 on the final day but admitted that the pressure to make the cut made his first two rounds nightmarish.
"I was concentrating too much on making the cut and played safe golf, but after the pressure was off, I attacked and it was easy to land a 68," he said.
"This is a unique tournament with no cuts, and so there will be no pressure on me and I will attack from the first shot itself."
Last year was memorable for the lanky golfer as he secured his Asian Tour Card by a mere US$308 by finishing 65th on the Order of Merit. He went on to finish joint ninth at the Brunei Open and 11th at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters.
Shaaban almost made a breakthrough at the Cambodian Open but failed to birdie the 18th hole to force a play-off with eventual winner Marcus Both of Australia.
The CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia could see a classic ending on Sunday if Shaaban hits form, but even if he doesn't, the Malaysian will still be a winner as the last placed finisher in the 40-player tournament will still earn US$50,000.

Donald aim to dig gold at Mines

By Jugjet Singh

LUKE Donald, fresh from winning the Ryder Cup with Europe, feels the US$6 million (RM18.5 million) CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia, which tees of tomorrow at the Mines Golf and Country Club, is the perfect platform for United States-based golfers to feel the Asian heat.

And Donald hopes the heat will not let up as big golf tournaments are sprouting up everywhere nowadays.
"This is my first visit to Malaysia and I played the front and back nines at the Mines and found the course very well laid out," said Donald, who is from England.
"I have enjoyed the hospitality and feel welcome in Malaysia and hope this will continue next year because there are many new tournaments to choose from. It would be a pity if such a nice set-up ends up in the shadows."
"This is also the perfect platform for US-based players to play alongside the best in Asia, and I believe both parties would benefit from this joint venture," added the World No 8.
Donald was part of the European team who beat the United States by one point in the recent Ryder Cup.
In 2004, he won the Omega European Masters and the Scandinavian Masters on the European Tour. In the same year he was a member of the victorious European Ryder Cup team and also won the WGC-World Cup for England in partnership with Paul Casey.
"I have played in three Ryder Cups and the pressure is unbelievable each time. But it prepares one for the next tournament, and if I am in contention for the title on Sunday, I would know what to do," said Donald.
Donald, along with Tom Watson, was one of two players to play with Jack Nicklaus in the final two rounds of golf in his career, at the 2005 Open Championship at the Old Course at St Andrews.
In May, Donald won the Madrid Masters by one shot for his first title in four years.
"It has been a while because after I injured my wrist in 2004, there was much rehabilitation and picking up to do. I won in Madrid, and then the Ryder Cup and, hopefully, the momentum picks up from here."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Selangor Rahim wants to contribute

ABDUL Rahim Ahmad has represented the country in world cup, and now he has joined a long list of former players who want to help administer the sport instead.
Rahim, vice-president of the Selangor HA, was nominated by his state for the vice-president’s post for the Oct 31 elections.
Former skippers Mohindar Singh and Ow Soon Kooi have also been nominated for the veep position, while former international Abdul Hadi received Perak’s backing to stand for the deputy president’s post.
“I played for Malaysia from 1978 to 1986 alongside two other vice president aspirants Mohindar and Soon Kooi. It is nice to know that many former players are now returning to help the sport which helped them early in their lives,” said Abdul Rahim.
The vice president’s race will see eight aspirants and the other newcomers are Johari Abdul Aziz, Manjit Majid Abdullah.
The incumbents are Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Datuk Rahim Ariff and M. Gobinathan.
The president was returned unopposed when nominations closed, while the deputy president’s post will see four going to the ballot.
Incumbent Nur Azmi Ahamd is being challenged by MHF vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema, former deputy president Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar and former hockey player Abdul Hadi.
Abdul Rahim was the assistant manager during the 2008 Azlan Shah Cup and the National Juniors team manager in the 2009 Junior Hockey League.
“I am also in the MHF coaching committee and as Selangor HA vice president, I constantly keep tabs on the current situation. That is why I feel that I would be able to help further if the affiliates pick me as one of the veeps,” said Abdul Rahim.

Final round scores of the Inaugural Malaysian LPGA

Pic: Malaysian Amateur Diana Tham, 18.


204 - Kang Jimin (KOR) 70-69-65
205 - Juli Inskter (USA) 71-67-67
207 - Mika Miyazato (JPN) 66-72-69; Maria Hjorth (SWE) 68-68-71
208 - Meena Lee (KOR) 69-70-69
209 - Christina Kim (USA) 70-70-69; Jiyai Shin (KOR) 69-70-70
210 - Cristie Kerr (USA) 72-71-67
211 - Beatriz Recari (ESP) 71-70-70; Lee Jee Young (KOR) 66-70-75; Kim Song-Hee (KOR) 69-68-74
212 - Stacy Lewis (USA) 71-70-71; Feng Shanshan (CHN) 71-75-66; Yoo Sun Young (KOR) 75-65-72; Natalie Gulbis (USA) 70-68-74
213 - Na Yeon Choi (KOR) 74-69-70; Azahara Munoz (ESP) 72-71-70; Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 69-74-70; Amanda Blumenherst (USA) 69-72-72; Pat Hurst (USA) 72-70-71; Lee Seon Hwa (KOR) 70-70-73; Candie Kung (TPE) 69-70-74
214 - Katherine Hull (AUS) 70-74-70; Alena Sharp (CAN) 68-72-74; Kim In-Kyung (KOR) 75-71-68; Amy Yang (KOR) 71-69-74; Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 73-73-68
215 - Han Hee Won (KOR) 67-75-73; Karine Icher (FRA) 73-71-71; Bae Kyeong (KOR) 70-71-74; Ai Miyazato (JPN) 76-70-69
216 - Ji Eun-Hee (KOR) 72-71-73; Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 70-72-74; Michelle Wie (USA) 68-74-74; Ahn Shi Hyun (KOR) 68-73-75; Amy Hung (KOR) 72-72-72; Kelly Tan (MAS-am); 71-73-72; Jang Jeong (KOR) 74 -72-70; Sandra Gal (GER) 74-74-68; Brittany Lang (USA) 71-77-68
218 - Park Hee Young (KOR) 72-70-76; Momoko Ueda (JPN) 75-69-74; Karen Stupples (ENG) 70-71-77; Sophie Gustafson (SWE) 70-75-73; Yani Tseng (TPE) 75-72-71
219 - Park Inbee (KOR) 76-68-75; Stacy Prammanasudh (USA) 73-72-74
220 - Na On Min (KOR) 76-69-75; Catriona Matthew (SCO) 71-70-79; M.J. Hur (KOR) 71-76-73; Meaghan Francella (USA) 76-72-72; Pak Se Ri (KOR) 76-74-70
221 - Jean Chua (MAS) 72-68-81
223 - Laura Davies (ENG) 73-76-74
226 - Vicky Hurst (USA) 80-70-76
230 - Frances Bondad (AUS) 74-75-81
244 - Aretha Pan (MAS-am) 79-83-82; Tiranan Yoopan (THA) 82-84-78
247 - Diana Tham (MAS-am) 87-77-83
250 - Cindy Lee-Pridgen (MAS) 83-81-86

Amateur kelly best Malaysian

By Jugjet Singh

AMATEUR Kelly Tan stole the thunder at the inaugural Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA when she ended jointh-32nd among a field of 60 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
Kelly had a one-over 72 in the final round for a three-day total of three-over 216.
However, Malaysian pro Jean Chua blew a chance of finishing in the top-10 bracket when she hit 11 shots to complete her par-four 18th holey yesterday.
Sixteen-year-old Kelly said the LPGA was a perfect platform for her to make a challenge in the Asian Games in China.
"It was simply great because I finished as the best Malaysian and there are many established professional who ended up lower than me.
"Although my aim was to finish in the top-10 to give myself a birthday gift, I am still glad with my three day effort," said the lass who will turn 17 on Tuesday.
Jean had rounds of 72 and 68, going into the final round, but ended up with an 81 for a total of eight over 221 to finish 53rd.
Yesterday, Jean started well on the first tee, and only had a bogey and a double bogey to show in the front, however, she blew her top in the end-game.
It all started with a bogey on the 16th and 17th, and then the miserable 11 shots to complete the final hole of the day.
"I had super 53 holes in this tournament and was in a position to finish at least eighth with three-under, but poor course and anger management spoiled my LPGA debut party," said Jean.
She blamed it partly on her caddy, and also herself: "I asked my caddy the distance for my final approach and he said 100 yards, so I took the shot but it fell short in the water. In my haste, and anger, I dropped the ball and hit it again, but it was short and fell in the water again.
"We checked the yardage in the book, and found out that it was further and I tried again. This time I felt it was a great approach shot, but it fell in the water again and it was all over for me."
What did she learn from the tournament: "I was enjoying every moment of it, until the final hole. My family came today to cheer me and after the front nine, I looked up the leaderboard and there was a great chance of finishing at least eighth if I played three under.
"I pushed too hard after that, and the rest is history for me to learn from."
Her birdies were on the sixth and 10th.
Two other Malaysian amateurs Aretha Pan finished 57th on 31 over 224, while Diana Tham was 59th on 34 over 247.
The last spot went to Malaysian professional Cindy Lee on 37 over 250.

Jimin US$270,000 richer

By Jugjet Singh

JIMIN Kang, 30, of South Korea engraved her name on the inaugural Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA pewter trophy when she fired a final round of 65 to end nine under 204 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
She was in the shadows after a first round of 70 followed by a 69, but the final put made her richer by US270,000.
The second spot and US174,239 was claimed by Juli Inkster of the United states with an eight-under 205.
Day one joint-leader Mika Miyazato and overnight leader Maria Hjorth shared the third spot and each received US112,089.
Jimin, who turned pro in 2003 and won her maiden LPGA title in 2005, was on cloud nine after a five-hear hiatus.
"Oh! my God!, I hope they parcel the trophy to me because it is so heavy and I don't have any more space in my luggage for it," was her first comment.
After settling down a little, she said she never felt that she was in the running until some of the volunteers alerted her.
"I was just going through the motions and never looked at the leaderboard until some of the volunteers told me that I am in the running for the title.
"I looked up and saw that they were right, and suddenly I had goosebumps and difficulty in breathing.
"My caddy told me to take it easy and just breathe deeply and it helped a little. And then in the final hole, I saw that I could go into a sudden-death with Juli if I birdied for a nine under. I did just that, and Juli bogeyed the last hole and here I am at the podium," said Jimin.
Juli was nine-under until the final hole, but: "I just edged my shot and I missed it to the right. It was a three quarter shot and I just left it out there. But otherwise I played well all day but Jimin birdied the last hole, and it slipped out of my fingers."

Jean is dancing to MJ tune

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIAN Jean Chua, 23, fired a three-under 68 for a two under 140 to lie jointh-11th after the second round of the Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.
Amateur Kelly Tan also had a laudable time when she returned two over 73, for a two-over 144 total and is joint 34th in a field of 60.
Jean, a year-old pro fought back from a one-over 72 in the first round with some gritty display, which included an eagle at the par four No 4.
She started from the 10th tee with a birdie, hit a bogey on the third but saved her game with an eagle in the next hole.
Her other birdies were on the 13th and 15th, while her second bogey was on the 11th.
"My round today (yesterday) was pretty solid as I hit it good from the start, and grew in confidence at the back nine," said Jean who studied and played in the United States for the last five years.
On her soaring eagle: "After I birdied the first hole it boosted my confidence, but in came the bogey to drop that shot. I was playing with Laura Davis and Cristie Kerr, which was simply wonderful, so I pushed harder and landed the eagle.
"I hit it on a short par four. I hit a hybrid on to the fairway and had about 84 yards to the pin and I just had a wedge. I was just going to bump it on the green and let it slide down because there was a hill in front.
"But it kind of caught the hill, and it took a high bounce and then hit the pin and dropped right in front of the pin. I guess that it had so much spin in it that it just kept rolling and went in."
The eagle was timely after an uncalled bogey on the fifth: "The timing was just right, as the bogey on a par five almost did my game in."
Sixteen-year-old Kelly Tan did not disappoint her fans when she returned a 73 for a two-over 144.
She had an even par in the first round, but hit a triple bogey on the 11th, and two more bogies on the ninth and 16th.
Starting on the first tee, her three birdies were on the fifth, sixth and 13th.
"On the 11th, I pulled a little to the left and it ended in a bunker. I couldn't pull through so I hit it to the right and had another 60 yards to the pin but I didn't commit to the shot, drafted it to the bunker and it went right inside again.
"I couldn't even see the ball so I took another unplayable shot, went back to where my last shot was and I had a great fifth shot but didn't make the put and had a seven instead."
After her even par, she had more people following her yesterday, and it could even be bigger today in the final round.
"Umm, that's golf. You get another chance tomorrow and I'm going to give it a go. Just go for it, I have nothing to lose..."
The other three Malaysians are entrenched at the bottom. Professional Cindy Lee is 58th on a 22-over 164, while amateurs Aretha Pan is 57th on 20-over 162 and Diana Tham 58th on 22-over 164.

Young on flight with chicken wings

By Jugjet Singh

KOREAN Lee Jee Young had a bogey and only two birdies, but held onto her share of the lead on a two-day total of six-under 136 after the second round of the Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.
However, the overnight joint-leader Japanese Mika Miyazato handed the baton to Swede Maria Hjorth who finished with another 68 yesterday.
Lee, who had a 66 in the first round, could only manage a 70, but it was enough.
Alone on third is Korean Kim Song-Hee, who had a round of 68 for five-under 137.
Four players are grouped at joint fourth on four-under 138, and they are Juli Inkster of the Unites States, Natalie Gulbis of the United States and Mika.
"I found it hard to concentrate after such a long delay (the second round was also rain-interrupted), especially when the temperature is so warm outside. It is easy to get a little stiff and tired, and one must be really focused when it restarts," said Maria, who had four bogeys, and eagle and five birdies.
Maria turned pro in 1998, but has yet to win a tournament, and her career top-10 finishes are only two.
"I had a great eagle on No 6 and it obviously helped place me where I am now. But then I had four bogeys, but still, it is nice to enter the final round as a leader," said the Swede.
And what she plans to do today: "I would probably have a go, and try and shoot another three or four under tomorrow, and see where it takes me. If not, I've done what I can do. I must really stay focused, and play against myself, and no one else." said Maria.
Jee Young has been in this position before, and to stay focused, she will call her mom.
"I am a little nervous even though I have taken the lead into the final round before. I was a little stiff playing the second round, and there will be more pressure on me in the final.
"To soak it up, I will call my mom tonight, and have a long chat with her. It will prepare me, I think," said Jee Young.
And what did she do during the rain-delay: "I love to eat, so I had chicken wings, a lot!"

Kelly on the contrary

By Jugjet Singh

KELLY Tan returned an amazing even-par 71 round to lead the Malaysian challenge on jointh-23rd in the inaugural Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.
And it all has to do with the attention she received from the crowd, shopping stories and make-up.
The 16-year-old started on the 1st tee and fired three birdies on the first, 12th and 16th, but was bogged down by bogies on the fourth, fifth and ninth.
Bubbling with confidence, the amateur was not the least awed by the huge support she received and hoped the cheering crowd would swell further today.
"I have been preparing for this day, and although I was a little nervous, the first hole birdie made my day. And I did not let the back-to-back bogies bother me, instead, I started to enjoy the support from the local crowd," she said.
The crowd kept shouting Malaysia Boleh! every time she hit it right: "I really enjoyed the attention I received, and in fact, during the three hour interruption many people surrounded me at the clubhouse lobby and it made my day.
"I hope the crowd would be bigger tomorrow (today)," she said.
Kelly was in the same flight with Natalie Gulbis from the United States and Azohara Munoz from Spain.
Did she pick up any tips from the pros: "No. All we did was talk about shopping and where is the best place to eat. I suggested Chinese food, which is my favourite."
And the morning after: "I am just going to go through my routine, which is to apply make-up, and then go practice before teeing off."
From the tournament, she hopes to give herself a birthday gift: "You know, I am going to be 17-years-old on Tuesday (Oct 26) and the perfect gift would be to finish top-10."
The other Malaysian players did not do well as professionals Jean Chua ended 32nd on one-over 72, and Cindy Lee 59th on 12-over 83.
The amateurs Aretha Pan was 56th on eight-over 79, while Diana Tham was 60th at 16-over 87.

Enter the other Mika

By Jugjet Singh

JAPANESE Mika Miyazato (pic) and Korean Lee Jee Young shared the leaderboard in the rain-interrupted first round of the Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA on five-under 66 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.
The course plays to par-71, and there was a three-hour delay but all the flights landed safely.
Hot on their heels is lone ranger Han Hee-won from South Korea on four-under 67.
A group of four are a further stroke behind on three-under 68. Michelle Wie from the United States, Alena Sharp from Canada, Maria Hjorth from Sweden and Ahn Shi Hyun from South Korea.
Miyazato is a dynamite 5' 2'' petite lass who jumped 25 rungs on the Rolex Rankings in the last two weeks.
The second year pro from Japan claimed her first professional victory at the Japan Women's Open on the JLPGA after she closed with a final-round 68 to finish six strokes ahead of Miki Saiki.
The win improved Miyazato's position on the Rolex Rankings a dramatic 15 places to No 24.
"I am feeling very good and everything went right for me. The three hour wait (rain interrupted play) was a bit boring, but I kept my mind blank and re-started with a birdie," said Miyazato.
She started on the 10th with a birdie, and went on to collect four more on the 12th, 17th, 18th and eighth in her bogey free round.
Joint leader Lee Jee Young from South Korea constantly had a girlish grin on her face and looked like she had just enjoyed every hole.
She also started on the 10th with a birdie and hit six more on the 13th, 15th, third, fifth, seventh and first. Her flaws were on the 12th and second.
Come on ask me questions, prompted a jovial Jee Young: "This is what I was looking for and after I started with a birdie, the going became a little easier and I am very happy with my score today."
The Korean turned pro four years ago and has enjoyed six top-10 finishes with an earning of US511,599.
"I am a little relieved to lead after the first round, because many ladies in the field are really good players and that makes it especially sweet."

Katherine claims title before tee-off

By Jugjet Singh

KATHERINE Hull (pic) from Australia laid an early claim to the Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA title when she boldly stated that she is here to win, at all cost.

The Aussie is an athlete to the word, as she played 11 sports including cricket, water-polo, swimming and tennis before deciding that her calling was golf.
"I am here to win the title, and the feeling is great, and so is my putting. Malaysia has been kind to me during my first visit, and I feel that I am in the right frame of mind to go for my second title here," said the 5 feet 10 inches tower of confidence.
Her first time in Malaysia was in 2002, and she helped Australia win the Espirito Santo Trophy at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
And last weekend, she landed the Navistar LPGA Classic for her second LPGA Tour victory. Katherine, who also won the 2008 Canadian Women's Open, finished at 19-under 269 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. After opening with a 68, she had three straight bogey-free 67s.
Is she still on cloud nine?
"Winning the Navistar was simply great, but the Monday after that I had to do my laundry and drag my bag at the airport, and that brought me down to earth pretty fast," said Katherine.
And how does she find the course and Malaysia: "Someone told me that the course was finished four months ago, and I said 'wow looks like it has been here for years'.
"It is well designed and I can't wait to start, as the weather is similar to Australia. However, it is much cooler here now, as compared to Singapore and Thailand where I have played."
She loves the Malaysian hospitality and food, even the King of Fruit durian.
"I have tried durian twice and although I did not like it the first time, the second was delicious. It actually tastes like butter. I have been told that you can't take it out of customs because its smell will give one away even if it is wrapped in five layers!."
Instead of durian, the confident Australian might just take the inaugural Malaysian LPGA pweter trophy back home.

Jean Chua sets 15 or bust

Pic: 16-year-old Kelly Tan (left).

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIAN JEAN Chua Tze has set a top-15 target for herself in the inaugural Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA tournament which will tee off today at the newly refurbished Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
The local challenge will also consist of another professional Cindy Lee-Pridgen, and amateurs Aretha Pan, Diana Tham and Kelly Tan.
Jean, 22, did not blink an eyelid when she said: "Even though I have not played at this course before, but I have set myself an aim to finish at the top-15 bracket as I feel my game is at its best."
Jean, from Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, turned professional last year is has since been regarded as the country's up-and-coming woman golfer.
"After winning some local and regional junior titles, I received a full scholarship to Wake Forest University (North Carolina) and was part of the women's golf team," said Jean.
She has been away in US for the last five years, and this means she will not only be battling against the best women in the world, but also the local weather.
"It will be difficult, from every angle you look. But since we are hosting it, I am going to give my best shot. The women in Malaysia need more challenging tournaments like this because we have a large pool of amateurs, but they just disappear due to lack of tournaments to play in," said Jean.
Jean marked her first professional outing by overcoming a seven-shot deficit to clinch the 2009 Thai LPGA, and is Malaysia's best bet for a good finish.
The other Malaysian pro, Cindy Lee-Pridgen from Sabah has represented Malaysia in the 2005 Women's World Cup Golf in South Africa.
Both the Malaysian pros will be battling with the top-five in the world Cristie Kerr of the United States, Ai Miyazato of Japan, Na Yeon Choi of South Korea and Michelle Wie of Hawaii.

Young Malaysian brigade aim high

By Jugjet Singh

ARETHA Pan (with trophy), 16, and Diana Tham, 18, are in for the ride of their lives after emerging tops in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysian Amateur tournament to grab two tickets for this weekends action.
Both the girls are from Sabah, and barely stand above their putters but there is a fresh look of eagerness and anticipation written on their faces.
There are five Malaysians who will be carrying the national flag at the inaugural tournament at the KLGCC. The others are amateur Kelly Tan, and professionals Cindy Lee-Pridgen and Jean Chua.
"I am delighted to play alongside the best lady golfers in the world and I do not feel under pressure at all because there is no half-way cut in this tournament, which means I can learn from the others while enjoying my round," said Aretha.
Aretha and Diana are products of Sime Darby Foundation in collaboration with KLGCC.
Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan, member of the Governing Council of Yayasan Sime Darby said: "Through sponsoring high profile tournaments like the LPGA, Sime Darby Foundation and KLGCC's main objective lies in promoting and inspiring talented young sportsmen and women to realise their true potential.
"This programme trained and developed some promising female golfers with a handicap of two and below and the end produce in the qualification of Aretha and Diana."
Diana finished first in the national qualifier with an aggregate total of seven-over 149.
Diana, who recently won the 27th Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open Championship said: “II would like to thank the event organisers, the sponsors and all the coaches of the Sime Darby LPGA Development Program for helping with my game and for helping me achievement such a milestone.”
While the Malaysians are not expected to be at the top of the podium, but it is an experience they will forever cherish and hopefully take their game to a higher level.

Ladies all dolled-up for Malaysia LPGA

Michelle Wie of Hawaii

By Jugjet Singh

THE Sime Darby Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament which tees of on Friday will see five players in position to grap the No 1 spot at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
And while four of them are ladies who just want to have fun in the sun, Jiyai Shin of South Korea is looking to burn calories and lose weight under the blazing Malaysian sun.
She shocked, and then amused the gallery yesterday when asked what she wants to gain from the inaugural tournament in Malaysia.
"First of all, it is amazing that for the first time in the LPGA history five players are in the running for the No 1 spot and they could achieve it in Malaysia. And while it will be nice to win, I am just looking forward to lose some weight under the blazing Malaysian sun," said the 22-year-old Korean.
The other players who could claim glory and the No 1 spot in Malaysia are Cristie Kerr of the United States, Ai Miyazato of Japan, Na Yeon Choi of South Korea and Michelle Wie of Hawaii.
Ai Miyazato, Cristie Kerr, Shin Jiyai, Suzann Pettersen and Yani Tseng are currently ranked first to fifth.
Jiyai Shin, a little portly as compared to the other cast in the star-studded tournament, turned pro in 2005 but already has a string of accolades to her name.
From 2006 to 2010 she showed consistency by making the cut for every tournament she competed in, except for one.
Having won the Evian Masters this year, her stellar flight currently ranlks her second in the world based on the Rolex Rankings.
Michelle Wie, a natural crowd puller, summed up what the other four want from the inaugural tournament.
"I believe most of us are here to enjoy the tournament and try and hit some low scores. I have played a training round at the course and it is superbly built and should challenge us to the maximum. The key here is for me to enjoy as much as possible, the course and the superb hospitality," said Michelle.
The three-day tournament will not have a cut-off, and all 60 golfers will play 54 holes.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tengku Majid to stand amid intimidating SMS

THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) nominees for their Oct 31 election stuck to their guns, even after one aspiring deputy president received an intimidating SMS, as none of them withdrew when the deadline ended yesterday.
The deputy president's post will see incumbent Nur Azmi Ahmad being challenged by current vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema, former deputy president Tengku Majid Sultan Iskandar and former international Abdul Hadi.
In the vice president's race eight will go to the ballot and they are incumbents Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Datuk Rahim Ariff and M. Gobinathan.
The newcomers are Ow Soon Kooi, Johari Abdul Aziz, Mohinder Singh, Manjit Majid Abdullah and Rahim Ahmad.
Tengku Majid said he will stand even after receiving an intimidating SMS: "I received an SMS which said the president (Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah) does not support my move to stand for deputy president.
"I have spoken to the president and he told me that he does not have a preffered team for the elections and that he can work with anybody who is given the mandate by affiliates. He said he does not have a problem with me standing for deputy."
Part of the SMS, forwarded by Tengku Majid to this scribe, read: "Looks like we want to work with you but you don't want to work with us. Our common enemy xxx will win if we don't plan and work together.
"It is an open secret that president is not keen in you being DP when he is there. If you lose you can never come back to MHF. I know you can contribute alot to MHF but you must be patient to win. If you believe me than work with me, if not all the best to you.
"I am 16 years in MHF. I have never lost in any MHF election. The people I support always win including you previously. Give a deep thought."
The SMS spurred Tengku Majid to go the distance: "If I am elected I will not meddle with the national team as there are already too many people running the show up there. I am more interested to revive hockey at the states and club level, and that will be my passion for the next four years."

Easy fixtures in Asia Games

THE Malaysian men's hockey team received a favourable fixture for the Guangzhou Asian Games as they open accounts against Singapore. But they could find themselves without a chief coach.
After playing Singapore, Malaysia will have a day's rest before meeting South Korea and Oman back-to-back.
Hosts China will square off against Malaysia after another day's rest.
"Yes, the fixtures are very kind to us because earlier I had feared that we would have to play Korea and China back-to-back. Or that Korea and China will play in the last game.
"However, having said that, reaching the semi-finals is still in the hands of the players, as they have to perform in every match," said chief coach Stephen van Huizen.
It is highly likely that Korea will seal one semis ticket, while Malaysia and China will fight for the second spot in their final Group A match.
Van Huizen was injured during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi when he missed a step, and the early indications are that he fractured a bone in his back.
"I have gone for an X-ray and the pain is still there. I will only find out in a few days time how serious the injury is," said van Huizen.
The women will play India, followed by Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan and Thailand.
MEN -- Group A: South Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Oman; Group B: India, Pakistan, Japan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong.
WOMEN -- China, Japan, India, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Thailand.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hadi in battle with big boys

ABDUL Hadi aims to take the bull by its horns in the Oct 31 Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) elections after he was nominated by Perak for the post of deputy president.
Hadi, a former national player and a terror in attack with Mirnawan Nawawi, has served as Perak HA deputy president for three terms, and feels the the time is right for him to serve in MHF.
He will be challenging incumbent Nur Azmi Ahmad, who received four nominations, Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema (two) and Tengku Majid Sultan Iskandar (one vote) for the deputy president's post.
MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was returned unopposed when nominations closed on Oct 15.
"I was nominated by my home state and agreed to stand for the second post because I feel MHF needs fresh blood to pump in new ideas," said Hadi.
"Nur Azmi was a vice-president for two terms, and then a deputy for one term. Cheema has been a vice-president for four terms, while Tengku Majid was a former deputy president.
"I am the fresh face, and since all the other three have served their time, I feel the delegates should choose someone with fresh ideas." And the former international is not going to lobby any state for the post as he feels they should know who can elevate the sport if given a chance.
"The sport has seen a steady slide for the last 10 years under current MHF officials. As an example, we were silver and bronze medallists in the Commonwealth Games, but have dropped to eighth in the recent Games in New Delhi, which is our worst performance.
"So, the sport needs people who can contribute to its development and I am available to make a concerted push for the next four years.
"It is not my style to pick up the telephone and lobby affiliates to vote for me. All I ask is for them to make the right choice after weighing up the factors that I have mentioned," said Hadi.
Hadi has stood for the post of MHF vice-president a few times but did not succeed.
"I am not trying to parachute to the second position. I have a good working track record with Perak HA and was also a member of various committees in MHF. I have experience from the bottom and being a former player, I understand what needs to be done to achieve the president's target of breaking into the top-10 bracket in the world." The balloting for the vice-president's posts is also expected to be intense, as eight will be vying for four posts.
Incumbents Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Datuk Rahim Ariff and M. Gobinathan received eight, nine and six nominations respectively.
The newcomers are Ow Soon Kooi (four), Johari Abdul Aziz (three), Mohinder Singh (one), Manjit Majid Abdullah (four) and Rahim Ahmad (one).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shock turns to confidence for Azmi

INCUMBENT Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) deputy president Nur Azmi Ahmad was caught off guard when he found out that there will be three challengers for his post in the Oct 31 elections when nominations closed on Friday.
Nur Azmi was confident that, with his track record in the MHF, he would retain the post unopposed but in came the nominations for MHF vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema (two), former deputy president Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar (two) and former hockey player Abdul Hadi (one).
However, Nur Azmi is ready to face them.
“I felt that I had done enough in the past two years to warrant another term unopposed, and was shocked when three others were also nominated by MHF affiliates,” said Nur Azmi. “I will let my track record speak for me.
“I also feel that the challenge is from outsiders, and Cheema was another surprise.”
Nur Azmi received four nominations, and said his recent networking with affiliates indicated that he is still the preferred choice.
“I have done my homework, and the feedback from affiliates is encouraging. In the last elections, I was in a similar situation (with three challengers) but two pulled out, and I won with a comfortable margin — that’s why I am not overly worried,” said Nur Azmi.
Cheema and Ken Pereira withdrew from the deputy president’s race in 2008, and Nur Azmi went on to beat Tunku Majid by a 12-vote margin. Cheema also had nominations for vice-president which he went on to win.
However, this time, Cheema is going for broke and is very unlikely to withdraw from the race.
Nur Azmi was a two-term vice-president before he threw caution to the wind and challenged Tengku Majid in 2008, and came out smelling like a rose.
The president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has been returned unopposed, while there will be eight candidates for the vice-president’s post.
Incumbents Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Datuk Rahim Ariff and M. Gobinathan received eight, nine and six nominations respectively.
The newcomers are Ow Soon Kooi (four), Johari Abdul Aziz (three), Mohinder Singh (one), Manjit Majid Abdullah (four) and Rahim Ahmad (one).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Former captains raring to contribute..

TWO former national skippers will be involved in the intense eight-corner fight for four vice-president’s posts in the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) elections on Oct 31.
Both are Olympians who played alongside each other, and while Ow Soon Kooi chose to leave the police force early, Superintendent Mohindar Singh will retire in a year-and-a- half’s time.
Soon Kooi received four nominations, while Mohindar one, and they will be up against three incumbents and three new challengers.
Incumbents Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Datuk Rahim Ariff and M. Gobinathan received eight, nine and six nominations each.
And the other three challengers are Johari Abdul Aziz (three), Rahim Ahmad (one) and Manjit Majid Abdullah (four).
“I am where I am today because of hockey and my main agenda to stand for election is to give back to the sport which I love,” said businessman Soon Kooi.
Soon Kooi and Mohindar played together in the 1976 Montreal Olympics where Malaysia finished eight out of 11 teams. Malaysia beat Argentina 2-0 then, and M. Mahendran scored in the 68th minute while Soon Kooi scored in the 69th minute.
As for Mohindar: “My whole live has revolved around the sport, and I also started the Police Hockey Association and we fielded a team in the Malaysia Hockey League.
“There were certain restrains which saw me relinquish the president’s post and I am now the deputy president of the Association,” said Mohindar.
Both the skippers have been keeping a close watch on the national team, and feel if they win in the elections, their work is cut out for the next four years.
“From what I watched on television during the Com monwealth Games, there is still much work to do to improve the team’s world ranking. For one, the national side lacks depth on the bench and this indicates the talent pool is shrinking,” said Sook Kooi.
Mohindar feels the same: “I have volunteered my time, with he knowledge that there is much work to do in the next four years if I am elected. For starters, we need to have a bigger pool of talent to select from, if we want to achieve results in the next decade.”
The post of deputy president will see a four corner fight among incumbent Nur Azmi Ahmad (four nominations), MHF vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema (two), former deputy president Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar (two) and former hockey player Abdul Hadi (One).
The president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, was returned unopposed when nominations closed on Friday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Four for deputy, eight for veep battle

PIC: Former national skipper Ow Soon Kooi received four nominations for the vice-president's post.

TENGKU Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was returned unopposed as president of the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) when nominations closed yesterday.
However, the deputy president’s post will see a four-corner battle, while eight hopefuls will vie for the four vice-pres ident’s posts.
There will not be elections to pick MHF secretary and treasurer on Oct 31, as amendments to their constitutions will see the two officials appointed.
“I hope state affiliates will elect officials that can input fresh ideas and are committed towards improving our standard of hockey. There is definitely much work to be carried out in the next four years,” said Tengku Abdullah.
Incumbent deputy president Nur Azmi Ahmad will face three challengers from MHF vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema, former deputy president Tunku Majid Sultan Iskan dar and former hockey player Abdul Hadi.
Tunku Majid also stood for the deputy president’s post in the last elections in 2008 but lost 26-14 to Nur Azmi. Two other challengers, Datuk Cheema and Ken Pereira withdrew from the race at the eleventh hour.
When Tunku Majid was asked about his nominations: “I will have a talk with the states that nominated me, and then decide on the next course of action.”
Nur Azmi received four nominations, Datuk Cheema two, Tunku Majid two and Abdul Hadi one.
In the vice-president’s battle, incumbents Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Datuk Rahim Ariff and M. Gobinathan received eight, nine and six nominations each.
The newcomers are Ow Soon Kooi (four), Johari Abdul Aziz (three), Superintendent Mohinder Singh (one), Manjit Majid Abdullah (four) and Rahim Ahmad (one).
MHF secretary Hashim Yusoff said: “The nominees have two weeks to decide if they want to stand or not, and the elections will be held on Oct 31, after which a council meeting will be immediately held to select committee chairper sons.”

Perak throw weight behind Abdul Hadi

IPOH, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- The Perak Hockey Association (PHA) has nominated former national skipper Mohamad Abdul Hadi to contest the post of Deputy President during the Malaysian Hockey Federation's (MHF) biennial general meeting on October 30.
PHA had during a meeting also decided to nominate its President Datuk Abdul Rahim Mat Ariff to defend his vice president's post together with two other incumbents, Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, M. Gobinathan and Au Soon Koi.
The PHA spokesperson said Abdul Hadi, the PHA Deputy President for the past six years, would face incumbent Nur Azmi Ahmad for the Deputy President's post.
Meanwhile, PHA had also proposed Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah who took over from Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor in 2008, to be retained as President.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eight degrees hotter for India

Chris Ciriello, Simon Orchard, veteran Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner also contributed goals on either side of halftime against a clueless Indian defence. —AFP Photo
Australian women's hockey team members celebrate after winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

WORLD champion Australia capped its fourth successive Commonwealth Games gold medal win by thrashing India 8-0 in the men’s field hockey final Thursday, silencing a capacity crowd that came hoping for an upset win for the host nation.
Jason Wilson and Luke Doerner scored two goals apiece, while Chris Ciriello, Simon Orchard, veteran Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner also contributed goals on either side of halftime against an outclassed Indian defense.
It was India’s biggest ever defeat in international tournament after losing the 1982 Asian Games final to Pakistan 7-1 at the same venue.
The gold medal completed a perfect year for the Kookaburras, who also won the World Cup in March and the Champions Trophy in August.
Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were among a capacity crowd of 19,000 at the MDC Stadium, but they had little to cheer their home team.
New Zealand defeated European champion England 5-3 on penalty strokes to clinch bronze medal after both teams were level at 3-3 in regulation time and the extra time could not produce a golden goal.
“We were effective in our defense and also took our chances effectively in attacking circle,” Dwyer said. “After that (4-0) halftime lead, it was all over.”
Early morning heat affected the home team more than the Australians as India had played all its pool matches under floodlights and also won the semifinal against England on Tuesday afternoon.
Wilson’s reverse strike from the top of the circle shot the Kookaburas ahead in 19th minute and only two minutes later Ciriello rasping drag flick off second penalty corner went into top of the net.
“They haven’t played in this heat and it’s difficult to catch up once you take a two goals lead in these conditions,” Dwyer said.
Australia continued its charge with Wilson neatly deflecting the ball into the board and Luke Doerner made it 4-0 off a short corner just before the halftime.
The home crowd started to leave the stadium after the break — and Australia scored four more goals in the last 18 minutes.
“We committed mistakes one after the other and it cost us in the end,” Indian forward Arjun Halappa said.
Earlier, England forward Simon Mantell scored a hat-trick against New Zealand but Kiwis took the bronze by winning the third place playoff on penalty strokes.
After the score was locked at 3-3 and extra time failed to produce a golden goal, New Zealand was on target with all its five shots from the spot and goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex brilliantly stopped Adam Dixon’s third penalty stroke to clinch 5-3 win for the Kiwis.
Simon Mantell, who scored in the first half, had pushed the playoff into extra time with two late goals to draw level.
“We had fought hard for nearly two weeks and it’s great to have something in the end,” New Zealand captain Phil Burrows said. “It was a great game and I think the crowd had their money worth.”
New Zealand capitalized on both chances in the first 15 minutes when Dean Couzins converted an eighth-minute penalty stroke and Nick Haig sounded the board with an angular shot from the right flank.
England pulled one back when Mantell scored off a powerful reverse flick in the 25th minute.
New Zealand widened the lead in the 37th when Hayden Shaw was on target off the second penalty stroke, but was then reduced to 10 men when Steve Edwards was temporarily suspended for unintentionally hitting England skipper Barry Middleton in the face.
Edwards’ exit provided enough space for England’s forwards to penetrate the New Zealand defense time and again with Mantell brother — Simon and Richard — combining well to force the game into extra time.
Simon Mantell scored with deft touch from close range in the 57th minute and then completed his hat-trick nine minutes from time with a hard deflection that flew into the net.

Kg Pandan Gurdwara creates history

MHF vice-president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema (centre) with Malaysian soccer legend Santokh Singh at the opening of the futsal/hockey/netball court at Wada Gurdwara Kampung Pandan.
Gatka (Sikh martial art) performance at the cement hockey/futsal court opening.
Traditional music before the official opening of the cement futsal/hockey/netball court.

EDITORS NOTE: It is a challenge to attract Sikh youth to Gurdwaras these days. Kg Pandan Gurdwara's small step should be emulated by Gurdwaras around the world, as sports is a great platform to guide those who have forgotten the route to their Gurdwaras.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Wada Gurdwara Kampung Pandan reached a new milestone when it launched a multi-purpose cement court at its premises on 10.10.10.
It became the first sports facility built in the premises of a gurdwara in Malaysia, and possibly in the world.
The RM35,000 cement court will be used for futsal, hockey and netball matches.
"As a sports loving faith, we decided to pass the hat around and collected enough money to build the cement court so that our children, and students around Kampung Pandan will be able to play futsal, hockey and netball at the gurdwara grounds," said former national hockey player Avtar Singh, who is also the organising chairman on Sunday.
The multi-purpose court was officially opened by Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) vice-president Datuk Dr. S.S. Cheema.
Also present at the opening ceremony were former football great Santokh Singh, national hockey captains DSP Mohinder Singh and Sarjit Singh Chaal, and the president of Malaysia- Singapore Sikh Sports Council, Datuk Sohan Singh Randhawa.
"This is the second such facility to be opened by Sikhs to promote sports in the country.
"The first was at Kelab Aman which received a tremendous response after it was launched a month ago.
"The Sikhs have the distinction of being great sportsmen in Malaysia, and with these facilities we will continue to support the nation's quest to become a sporting power in the world," said Cheema.
Cheema added there are plans to adopt a school in the Kampung Pandan area for its sport programme.
"There are many schools around this gurdwara, and we hope to adopt one and allow students to train and play at the cement court."
For information on coaching clinics at the multi- purpose court, contact Avtar Singh at 017-3565 180 or Hardip Singh at 012-2967 878.

Golden outing for Australia (W)

The Hockeyroos have won the Gold medal beating New Zealand 4 - 2 on Penalty strokes after New Zealand levelled the scores at 2 - 2 with an extended time penalty corner goal at the end of the second half to force extra time. Golden Goal extra time failed to break the deadlock.

England secured the Bronze medal beating South Africa 1 - 0 in the earlier game

Final standings Women

1. Australia
2. New Zealand
3. England
4.South Africa
5. India
6. Canada
7. Scotland
8. Wales
9. Trinidad & Tobago
10. Malaysia

India on a hot streak


PIC: Rajpal Singh celebrates with teammates after defeating England in the 2nd semifinal of the men's hockey at Major Dhyanchand National Hockey Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

IT is difficult to pitch on the right epithet to convey the mood of exuberance after India made the first entry into the hockey final of the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday
Before a huge crowd and in a pulsating combat, embellished by some exquisite goals, India edged out England by a sensational verdict of eight goals to seven after the tie breaker to set up a gold medal clash with Australia on Thursday.
What made the whole exercise to remain etched on the mid for years to come was the grit and determination of the home team to stage a comeback and make good a two goals deficit.
The initial flourish, which brought India into the lead after Saranjit Singh netted, began to in the later stages of the first half.
England used this sluggish phase to level through Ashley Jackson. And, Jackson added one more shortly after the break from a blinding penalty corner hit. Then Simon Mantell converted another to give England, what at that point, looked an unbeatable lead.
Rarely have we seen the Indians stage such a recovery, which they did last night. Even as visions popped up of India’s quest for gold might vanishing in thin air the team staged a historical recovery.
In a spell that eloquently projected India’s hockey ethos of fluency, finesse and forward thrusts, Vikram Pillay deflected a long hit by Sandeep Singh into the net, Within minutes came the leveler by Sarvanjit off a pass from Sardar Singh. India had the whip-hand in the extra-time, but two agonizing misses by Tushar Khandekar stretched the match into the extra-time.
If this in a nutshell mirrors the sequence of scoring, the report would be incomplete without a tribute to the role of Sardar Singh at the back line, Halappa’s charming forward passes, Sandeep Singh’s long and accurate drives that sent the rival defenders into a state of panic, and the solid work of Vikram Pillay.
And finally, goal-keeper Chettri for that brilliant save from Kirkham in the tie breaker that eventually tilted the scales on India amidst spontaneous approbation.
India is now assured of a medal, which it did not get in 1998 and 2006.
In total command from the push off, the Aussies authored an attractive 6-2 success against the Kiwis to make the fourth successive final in the men’s hockey competition.
Exemplary in every layer, the ingenuity and improvisations effected by the team were evocative and educational.
The margin clearly masks the effort, energy and efficiency of the Kiwis, who made a gallant bid late in the second half to keep the fight alive till the final whistle.
Simon Child symbolized the danger element. It was a pity that his efforts went unrewarded in the end. Steve Edwards and Brad Shaw were the others who were noticeably energetic.
Pace management is Australia’s virtue. This element was executed with care. Content with probing till a modicum of rhythm was accomplished, the velocity of the Aussie attack intensified progressively.
With the ubiquitous Jaime Dwyer marshalling forces, the stress on the Kiwi defenders became pronounced, notwithstanding the intrepidity displayed by goal-keeper, Kyle Pontifex. Some of his saves were a delight to behold.
The Aussies tightened the after Luke Doerner’s successive penalty corners failed to fructify. Simon Orchard flung open the doors with a smashing shot. Then the string of goals followed.
Glenn Turner and Jason Wilson enlarged the margin with Abbott adding one more after the break.
The best spell for the Kiwis came when Blair Hilton executed a thundering drive to beat Nathan Burgers at the Aussie goal and Phil Burrows tapped in a cross from the rest.
Pepped up by this turn, the Kiwis forced the pace. But the Aussies neutralized the advantage when Glenn Turner scored a superb diving goal. This was followed by Simon Orchard off a pass from Jaime Dwyer.
Pakistan surrendered a two goal advantage, suffered a red card suspension (Muhammad Irfan from umpire-Greenfield from New Zealand) and conceded the golden goal to tumble down against South Africa to the sixth place. Pakistan was a silver medallist in the last edition while South Africa’s best placing-fifth-in 1998 at Kuala Lumpur.
The results:

(9-10) Scotland 7 (Cameron Fraser, Niali Stott, Christopher Nelson, William Marshall, Kenneth Bain 2, Alan Forsyth) beat Trinidad and Tobago 0 HT-2-0. (5-6): Pakistan v South Africa.(5-6): South Africa 3 ( Justin Ross 2, one golden goal, Gareth Carr) beat Pakistan 2 (Rehan Butt) HT 0-1.

Semi-finals: India 3 (Sarvanjit Singh 2, Vikram Pillay) beat England 3 (Ashley Jackson 2, Simon Mantell) HT 1-1.Tie breaker: India 5(Sarvanjit Singh, Vikram Pillay, Sandeep Singh, Arjun Halappa, Shivendra Singh);England 4 ( Richard Smith, Richard Mantell, Ashley Jackson, Harry Martin) Total 8-7.

Australia 6 (Simon Orchard 2, Glenn Turner 2, Jason Wilson, Desmond Abbott) beat New Zealand 2 (Blair Hilton, Phil Burrows) HT 3-0;

Wednesday’s matches: Women: (3-4) England v South Africa (10 a.m.);


The Hindu