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.