Monday, October 24, 2011


LAST SEASON --- UMPIRE K. Lingam trying to restrain Nur Insafi's K. Keevan Raj from attacking him in the match against Maybank at the Tun Razak Stadium. Keevan was flashed the red card, and his team lost 4-1 and were bundled out of the quarter-finals.

1st October, 2011
The Chairman
Technical Committee
TNB MHL 2011


The Chairman
Umpiring Committee
Malaysian Hockey Federation

Dear Sir/s,

(Letter Signed by 12 Umpires)

Reference is made to the above matter.

We write to you, the above mentioned, to voice our dissatisfaction on the incidents that had taken place involving some of us, the umpires, during the ongoing TNB MHL League and also previously in other domestic tournaments organised by MHF and the way these issues had been addressed.
As you all know, the umpires are always at the receiving end of all the faults that take place in the pitch. Never once the team officials and/ or players are blamed just because they spend hundreds of thousands of ringgit preparing for every tournament and when things are not favourable to them, we get the blame.
Every year the same issue is raised that there is no consistency in umpiring, etc, etc…. We would like to ask, how consistent are the players?! Do they make the right passes everytime? NO! Do they score a goal everytime from every shot on goal? NO! Do they manage to make a correct tackle everytime to get the ball back? NO! Do the players execute all the instructions give to them by their coaches? NO!
So what are they talking about consistency!
Yes! We have umpires of different grades umpiring and with the experience that they have, we run the show. Not all of them get the opportunity to umpire high level matches but we still manage to do it. As the saying goes, “there is no perfect umpire”.
We are highlighting below a few of these incidents that had taken place during the TNB MHL League and a few other tournaments before this involving players who verbally and physically abuse umpires and get off lightly as follows:
Razak Cup 2010 – Kuantan – Terengganu and current national player, Faisal Saari who ran from the opposition’s half and physically pulled umpire Ravinderpal Singh’s t-shirt after the umpire had awarded a penalty corner against his team. When he did that the umpire flashed him a yellow card and upon receiving the card, the player uttered foul word to the umpire, afterwhich he was shown the red card.

This player was referred to the DB, without the umpire concerned being called. He apparently apologised and got off without any punishment meted out on him. Being the “blue- eyed boy” of the hockey team, the officials felt that they needed his services more than to instil discipline in him.

He went on playing for the country and received the same treatment from international umpires for similar behaviour but our officials kept a blind eye.

This matter was also brought up in the MHF council meeting and highlighted to the President. The DB head said that since there was no physical abuse (hitting and/ or bleeding) we could not take any action on the player. What rubbish!!!! Do they expect the umpire to be hit and only then action will be taken!! The President asked the UC to write to DB to re open the case but sadly this was never done.

Faisal Saari now plays for TNB and is a hero for the national team. Bravo! But what about umpire Ravinderpal??? What did he get out of it? He followed procedures, made a report and at the end got nothing……..not even an apology.

TNB MHL Premier League 2010- Keevan Raj of Nur Insafi approached and pushed umpire Lingam when the umpire awarded a PC to Maybank. He sayed that the umpire had been bought over by Maybank. Lingam gave Keevan a Green Card to which the player abused using foul language repeatedly on him and then spat on the umpire.

The umpire immediately showed him the Red Card. He too followed proper procedures by making a report and waited for the outcome. Action was only taken after 2 – 3 weeks wherby Keevan was banned for 21 months.

TNB MHL Premier League 2011 - Player No.2 from ATM came up to umpire Illango after the match, abused him, threatened him, pointed his stick towards him and called him out of the stadium for a fight. The said played had to be taken away by his fellow team mates.

Once again, a report was made and submitted to MHF but action was not taken immediately. This player played 2 more matches and in one of those 2 matches he again after the match approached umpire Anba and abused him.

Another report was made against this player. This time he was suspended for 2 matches. These 2 matches were the last 2 matches before the completion of the preliminary round. It wouldn’t have mattered to the player because they were at the bottom of the table anyways and would not have made it to the knockout stages.

Our question is “Why was he allowed to play for the next 2 matches and again continue to abuse the umpires after each match” ?

TNB MHL Premier League 2011 – Quarter final match between Sapura and Nur Insafi. Sapura captain Kuhan was red carded by umpire Anba for using foul words on him. After the match, the said played approached the technical bench and continued to hurling more foul words on the umpire in the presence of MHF officials and technical officer of the match.

The umpire submitted his report, the technical officer submitted his report. We feel that this is a very serious offence by a former national captain. This incident took place on 12/10/11 (Wednesday).

Having received a red card, the player is automatically suspended for 1 match pending the DB hearing. What baffles us is that, yes! He was automatically suspended for 1 match but to our astonishment, the technical committee did not meet to take further action and / or refer him to DB.

The technical committee in a press statement said that the matter could not be deliberated because a certain person was not available and therefore it will be held on Monday, 17/10/11.

We beg to differ to the excuses given. What would have happened if the umpire was hit and hospitalized and in a coma? Would the technical committee then sat immediately to deliberate on the mater?

And yes! Sapura lost 1- 2 in the 1st leg.

We strongly believe that this delay was to determine if Sapura were to qualify for the semi finals and to see the outcome of the 2nd leg match which was played on Sunday 16/10/11. True enough, Sapura won 2-0 and qualified.

Kuhan was given a mere 2 match suspension on Monday 17/10/11, which makes him eligible to play in the 2nd leg of the semi finals on Friday, 21/10/11.

For all that abuses and outburst Kuhan received only 2 matches. For the ATM player who did not receive any card, abused the umpires after the match was also suspended for 2 matches.

For your information, the above incidents are only a tip of the iceberg. There are many umpires who have been subject to all this and have given up, retired due to frustration because their plight was never looked into.

We would like to ask….
Where is justice?
Why are there double standards?
Why is it that the players’ welfare is taken care of and not of the umpires?
When are we going to be protected?
When will the abuses stop?


Send out the message loud and clear to them that you will no longer condone such behaviour. This has been going on for far too long
Sadly but true to the every word that this has not happened and will not happen in the near future. Please prove us wrong!!
Some of us have been umpiring for more than 15 years. We get to see the same players and officials year in and year out. We have swallowed a lot of rubbish. We are still swallowing a lot of rubbish. We have new, younger umpires coming up the ranks and they too are facing the same problems.
How do you expect the country to produce more umpires when the rot is still there??
We, the undersigned (attached list of umpires’ name and signature), together and collectively would like to inform you that we want this to stop. Take the required measures now.

We do not want to have a situation where you will not have anymore umpire to officiate your tournaments.

Thanking you in advance for our future in umpiring.

Malaysia receive bye into Second Round

THE Malaysian men's hocky team have received a bye into the Second Round of the proposed World League tournament to be organised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) after the London Olympics.
The FIH are in the midst of preparing a paper on the tournament, which will see countries receive fairer ranking points than the present system.
It was reported at the FIH website: "The FIH will take the next steps in launching its World League when its Executive Board meets on Nov 11-12. At that meeting, the Executive Board will consider a detailed report from its Competitions Committee on how the new events
will be run."
Included in the paper are details involved in setting up a new competition, from the method and timing of entry through to the final of the World League. What is confirmed is that a total of 62 men’s teams and 51 women’s teams have entered the new tournament.
The other men's teams who received byes to Round Two are India, Canada, Argentina, South Africa, Belgium, China and Japan.
Higher ranked teams Australia, Germany, Netherlands, England, Spain, South Korea, New Zealand and Pakistan have received byes to Round Three.
The FIH will be contacting potential hosts shortly to agree the dates and venues of the Round One and Round Two tournaments, which are scheduled to take place next year following the 2012 Olympics.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

KLHC claw back from the dead

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) came back form the dead to snatch a treble in the Malaysia Hockey League when they beat Tenaga Nasional 3-2 in the TNB Cup last night.
KLHC had already bagged the Charity Shield and the League title, but were surprisingly down 0-2 to Tenaga Nasional after 35 minutes of play.
However, Tenaga were guilty of trying to defend the lead, and KLHC made them pay in the final 10 minutes minute of the match.
KLHC skipper Azlan Misron, who tied the knot a day before the final, played a pivotal role in the comeback and was aptly named as Player of the Tournament.
Faizal Saari's reverse stick shot in the fifth minute, earned Tenaga Nasional their first penalty corner.
And it was poetic justice for the young lad, as he pumped in a powerful flick to the roof of the net for the early lead.
Faizal, 20, scored his 19th goal of the tournament, which included four-hat-tricks.
And KLHC were placed in deeper trouble when Amir Farid, also 20 years-old, nailed Tenaga's second goal in the eighth minute off a filed attempt.
The score stood until the breather, and after the restart, KLHC strikers Ismail Abu, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Chua Boon Huat tried their best but Tenaga's defenders stood their ground.
However, KLHC finally narrowed the gap with an Amerullah Aziz field goal in the 59th minute, which took the match into a maddening pace.
Tenaga defender Amin Rahim, a national stalwart, made the blunder of his life when he intentionally brought down Tengku Ahmad just outside the semi-circle, and the umpire awarded KLHC a much sought after penalty corner.
Tenaga runners were outfoxed when they ran towards penalty corner flicker Razie Rahim, but the ball was sent to former international Boon Huat who cooly slotted the goal past goalkeeper S. Kumar for the equaliser in the 62nd minute.
And it was a pass from Boon Huat, picked up by Azlan and sent to Tengku who won a penalty corner in the 70th minute which sealed the match.
Razie, national No 2 flicker, put the ball past Kumar for a well deserved 3-2 win.
"We gave Tenaga strikers too much of space in the first half and almost paid a heavy price for it. However, the half-time briefing to play man-to-man marking worked wonders to turn the tide and we landed our precious treble in style," said KLHC coach R. Vivekanandan.
Tenaga coach Lailin Abu Hassan lamented the depth of his reserves: "My first-11 gave their all and were burnt out after 35 minutes of running. And since we did not have depth on the bench like KLHC, we totally lost the grip in the final 10 minutes of play."
Meanwhile, in the bronze match, Sapura beat Maybank 3-0 with goals from Faizal Daud (52nd), Azreen Rizal (61st) and Izwan Firdaus (70th).
Sapura pocketed RM30,000 even with out their injured skipper S. Kuhan, youngester Joel Samuel van Huizen and defender Megat Azrafiq.
RESULTS: Final: Kuala Lumpur HC 3 Tenaga 2; Third-Fourth: Sapura 3 Maybank 0.
Premier Division: Champion: Kuala Lumpur HC (RM60,000); Runner-up: Sapura (RM40,000); Third: Tenaga Nasional (RM30,000).
TNB Cup: Champion: Tenaga Nasional (RM60,000); Runner-up: Kuala Lumpur HC (RM40,000); Third: Sapura (RM30,000); Fourth: Maybank (RM20,000).
Fairplay: Maybank (RM3,000); Best Player of the Tournament Azlan Misron, KLHC (RM500); Best Goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin, KLHC (RM500); Top Scorer Faizal Saari, Tenaga, 19 goals (RM500); Man of the Match Final: Chua Boon Huat, KLHC (RM500).
Division One -- Champion: SSTMI-Thunderbolt (RM20,000); Runner-up: UniTen (RM15,000); Third: Ipoh City Council (RM10,000).

Simoncelli dies in Malaysian GP

ITALIAN rider Marco Simoncelli, 24, died after being involved in a horrific crash at the 2011 Malaysian MotoGP Sunday.
Earlier, the race was cancelled in its second lap when the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider fell and was hit by Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi.
Simoncelli's helmet was knocked off in the accident, which occurred when the Italian lowsided from his bike at Turn 11.
His bike veered across the track and straight into the path of Edwards and Rossi.
The decision to cancel the race was made by Malaysian race promoter, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) and Dorna Sports.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A wedding and three titles..

WHOSE TITLE? ..Tenaga captain Madzli Ikmar (left) and KLHC skipper Azlan Misron get a feel of the silverware before the big battle.

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) are posed to claim their Malaysia Hockey League treble when they meet Tenaga Nasional in the TNB Cup at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.
They are determined to keep their unbeaten record, which has earned them the Charity Shield and the League title, and not even their skippers wedding last night is going to stop their set of determined players.
KLHC skipper Azlan Misron attended yesterday morning’s Press Conference with his bride in tow: “I’m getting married tonight (last night) but will be there to rally and motivate my team-mates to win the TNB Cup.
“It is an important day in my life, but my duty towards my club is just as important and my final aim is to make sure we win the treble.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Azlan, a former national skipper, was sidelined in the last few international assignments as younger players overtook his pace.
“I’m a fighter who hates to lose and will take the nudge from younger players as a challenge to improve my fitness and game so that I would be considered for national duty again,” said the Perak-born player.
KLHC and Tenaga played the season opening Charity Shield, and the former won on a slim 2-1 margin.
“Statistics do not matter at this stage and Tenaga have shown real grit to reach the TNB Cup final. They also have the best goalkeeper in Asia and possibly in the world in S. Kumar.
“Tenaga also have the national defense, while their young forwards. I predict, will turn into future stars,” said KLHC team manager George Koshy.
In defense, Tenaga have the national line-up of Kumar, Madzli Ikmar, Amin Rahim and Baljit Singh.
And their young forwards Faizal Saari (18 goals which include four hat-tricks), Firhan Ashaari and Amir Farid are super fit and can turn the tables in a flash.
“However, Tenaga have a weak midfield and that is what we will exploit to win the match,” said Koshy.
KLHC have nine national players, and their top scorer is Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin with 17 goals.
TNB will miss Sallehin Ghani who was red carded in the semis against Sapura for a bad tackle on Joel Samuel van Huizen.
So they will have to reshuffle its backline with Amin Rahim playing in the middle of defence and skipper Madzli Ikmar playing in front of him. S. Bubalan is expected to replace Sallehin in the starting line-up.
“Sallehin’s absence will affect us but this is something we hope to overcome by moving some players around. No doubt that KLHC hold the aces, but we will play the game of our life to upset them,” said Tenaga coach Lailin Abu Hassan.
Tenaga skipper Madzli said playing second fiddle to KLHC is not something that he aims to do when the final whistle is blown.
“We have to play smart and be wary of the quick counters which KLHC are capable of. They have several players that can inflict damage on us if left unchecked, but I and my defenders know the capabilities of all their forwards, as we are team mates in the national squad. That will be our plus point,” said Madzli.
TODAY: Final: Kuala Lumpur HC v Tenaga (8pm); Third-Fourth: Sapura v Maybank (6pm).
Both matches at the second pitch of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Friday, October 21, 2011

KLHC-Tenaga final

MOVE ASIDE.. Tenaga defender Amin Rahim (left) and Sapura midfielder Jiwa Mohan in a tussle at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Tenaga Nasional will battle for the Malaysia Hockey League TNB Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
KLHC, who held a 6-1 cushion going into the second leg of the quarter-finals, beat Maybank 5-2 for an aggregate 11-3 win.
In the other quarter-finals, Tenaga Nasional beat Sapura 4-3 for an 9-6 aggregate win. But lost defender Sallehin Ghani to a red card in the 65th minute, and he will sit out the final as well.
Sallehin's rough tackle on Sapura's Joel Samuel van Huizen saw the youngster being stretchered out, and it ended the Tenaga players MHL season prematurely.
Sapura started off well by attacking from the whistle, but a 16th minute rough tackle by their skipper S. Kuhan at the top of the semi-circle gave away a penalty corner.
The corner was converted into a penalty stroke when the ball hit postman Megat Azrafiq on the foot, and national player Amin Rahim cooly slotted in the goal with a low push to beat goalkeeper Khairul Nizam.
Sapura pulled a goal back in the 38th minute through Izwan Firdaus but TNB hit back the very next minute through Firhan Ashaari.
And Amir Farid made the task all the more impossible for Sapura, netting TNB's third in the 50th minute for an aggregate lead of 8-4. Though Azreen Rizal Nasir scored from a penalty corner set piece in the 64th minute, it was a little too late for Sapura.
All hell broke loose in the 66th minute when Sallehin made a dangerous tackle on Joel and players from both sides squared up against each other.
Sallehin was red carded after much deliberation and will now miss the final on Sunday.
But TNB still managed to score their fourth through Faiz Helmi in the 68th minute. Though Azreen got another in stoppage time, TNB were already through.
In the other match, Maybank started off well by taking the lead off Zulhairi Hashim in the eighth minute, but KLHC replied in the 24th minute off an Ismail Abu field attempt.
But right after the restart, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (37th), Shahrun Nabil (38th), Razie Rahim (53rd), Syamim Yusof (62nd) doused any hope that the Tigers had. The Maybank second goal was scored by Muhsin Hamsani (54th).
"With a five-goal lead, it was a question of Maybank opening up their match to score, and they gave us a tough fight in the first half. However, the two quick goals in the second half gave us the break.
"It was no way that we were going to lose this tie, and now we only have one days rest before playing for the Cup," said KLHC manager George Koshy.
RESULTS: S-Finals (2nd leg): Sapura 3 Tenaga 4 (Tenaga win 9-6 on aggregate); Maybank 2 Kuala Lumpur HC 5 (KLHC win 11-3 on aggregate).
TOMORROW: Final: Kuala Lumpur HC v Tenaga (8pm); Third-Fourth: Sapura v Maybank (6pm).
Both matches at the second pitch of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Joel, Manraj to the fore

SAPURA will be going for broke to turn the tables on Tenaga Nasional in the second leg of the TNB-Cup semi-finals at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.
After losing 3-5 to Tenaga in the first leg, coach I. Vickneswaran feels the youth in his side are capable of much more.
The other semi-finals is between Maybank and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club, with the latter having secured an emphatic 6-1 cushion.
“My young players were the ones who took us out of troubled waters in the first leg after we messed up by going down 4-0 by the 15th minute.
“Young guns Joel (van Huizen) and Manraj (Singh) played the best game of their lives to take ou out of troubled waters,” said Vickneswaran.
Also, Sapura will receive another boost as their skipper S. Kuhan will be back after serving a two-match suspension for a red card offense.
“Kuhan’s presence will add experience to the side, which we will sorely need, and I expect him to guide the youngsters in our side to pull off an upset and take us into the final,” said Vickneswaran.
Sapura can take a bow for scoring three goals against the best defense in the League, and it would not come as a surprise if they beat Tenaga again today, like they did in the last TNB Cup semi-finals and advanced to the final on a 4-2 aggregate.
TODAY -- S-Finals (Second leg): Sapura (3) v TNB (5) (6pm), Maybank (1) v KLHC (6) (8pm).
Note: First leg scores in parenthesis and matches at the National Hockey Stadium (Pitch Two) in Bukit Jalil.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

KLHC seal final slot

(From left) Nabil Fiqri, Azlan Misron and tengku Ahmad Tajuddin celebrate scoring KLHC’s second goal against Maybank in a TNB Cup match at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday. KLHC won 6-1. — Picture by Supian Ahmad

By Ajitpal Singh

DEFENDING champions Kuala Lumpur HC (KLHC) have virtually qualified for the TNB Cup final after a convincing 6-1 victory over Maybank in the semi-final first leg at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
In the other match, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) hammered in four goals in the opening 15 minutes to beat Sapura 5-3.
KLHC, led by nine national players, unleashed their fury by finding the back of the net six times with Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddi Abdul Jalil opening the floodgates in the 10th and 12th minutes.
But Maybank's Hafifihafiz Hanafi reduced the deficit with a fine reverse stick goal in the 29th minute.
Maybank's initial dominance in the second half turned into tatters as former international Chua Boon Huat added the third in the 43rd minute for a 3-1 lead.
KLHC turned on the heat in the final 10 minutes with three goals through Muhd Amerullah Abd Aziz 961st), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (66th) and Ismail Abu (70th).
"We went for early goals and scored two in the opening minutes which forced Maybank to ditch their defensive approach," said KLHC team manager George Koshy yesterday.
"It is a good lead to take into the second leg but nothing can be considered a certainty as there are still 70 minutes to be played."
RESULTS -- KLHC 6 Maybank 1, TNB 5 Sapura 3.
FIXTURES -- Tomorrow: S-Finals (2nd leg): Sapura v TNB (6pm), Maybank v KLHC (8pm). -- Matches at the National Hockey Stadium (Pitch Two) in Bukit Jalil.

TNB eager for revenge

Sapura’s S. Kuhan (left) is tackled by KLHC’s Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Jalil during their league match recently.

By Ajitpal Singh

BITTER rivals Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and Sapura will face off in the TNB Cup semi-finals with the former gunning for revenge for last year's defeat at the same stage.
In last year's semi-finals, Sapura defeated TNB 4-2 on aggregate before going down to Kuala Lumpur HC (KLHC) in the final.
TNB coach Lailin Abu Hassan is very aware that Sapura can come out tops once again despite not having their captain S. Kuhan in the line-up due to a two-match suspension in today's first leg at the National Hockey Stadium (Pitch Two) in Bukit Jalil.
TNB, the 2009 champions, have a star-studded line-up with no injury problems while Sapura, who can only register 17 players for the match due to Kuhan's suspension, will be handicapped with injuries.
Sapura's Azreen Rizal Nasir, Redzuan Ponirin, Faisal Kamaruddin, Craig Joseph Fernandez and Norhanafpe Omar are all doubtful starters.
"We are expected to win as we had beaten them in the league. But it is a different ball game in the semi-finals so we need to be careful," said Lailin.
"We need to play consistently and score a few goals in the first leg to avoid unnecessary pressure in the return leg. Sapura have been inconsistent of late but that does not mean they can be beaten.
"My players are motivated and determined to avenge last year's semi-final defeat but to do that they need to be focused and play to strategy in both legs."
Sapura coach I. Vikneswaran said TNB have a good mix of experience and youth with a backline comprising players from the national team.
"We are a depleted side but having done some adjustments to our midfield and defence, I believe we can match them. The absence of Kuhan will also motivate us to lift our game," said Vikneswaran.
"TNB have the edge but we have a surprise in store. We just have to find a way past their backline which will not be easy as they virtually have the national defence."
The other semi-final is between league champions KLHC and Maybank.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fauja Singh, 100, finishes marathon

TORONTO -- A 100-year-old runner became the oldest person to complete a full-distance marathon when he finished the race in Toronto on Sunday.
Fauja Singh earned a spot in the Guiness World Book of Records for his accomplishment.
It took Singh more than eight hours to cross the finish line -- more than six hours after Kenya's Kenneth Mungara won the event for the fourth straight year -- and he was the last competitor to complete the course.
But his time wasn't nearly as remarkable as the accomplishment.
Event workers dismantled the barricades along the finish line and took down sponsor banners even as Singh made his way up the final few hundred yards of the race.
Family, friends and supporters greeted Singh when he finished the race.
"Beating his original prediction, he's overjoyed," his coach and translator Harmander Singh said. "Earlier, just before we came around the (final) corner, he said, 'Achieving this will be like getting married again.'
"He's absolutely overjoyed, he's achieved his lifelong wish."
Sunday's run was Singh's eighth marathon -- he ran his first at age 89 -- and wasn't the first time he set a record.
In the 2003 Toronto event, he set the mark in the 90-plus category, finishing the race in 5 hours, 40 minutes and 1 second.
And on Thursday in Toronto, Singh broke world records for runners older than 100 in eight different distances ranging from 100 meters to 5,000 meters.
The 5-foot-8 Singh said he's hopeful his next project will be participating in the torch relay for the 2012 London Games. He carried the torch during the relay for the 2004 Athens Games.

by The Associated Press

You Maybank on Wallace

MAYBANK started slowly in the League, but have progressed into a ‘difficult’ side in the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League.
The Tigers will be playing favourites Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the first leg of the semi-finals tomorrow, and taking them for granted would be a big mistake.
The other semi-finals is between Sapura and Tenaga Nasional, with the former playing without their suspended skipper S. Kuhan in the first leg.
Maybank, who rely on counter attacks for goals, played to a narrow 2-3 defeat to the Charity Shield and League holders in the League match.
“We know that it would be disastrous to take Maybank lightly, as they gave us quite a scare in the League and are capable of unleashing counter-attacks when least expected.
“That is their strength, and we need to be extra careful not to give their speedy strikers space to do the damage,” was KLHC coach R. Vivekanandan’s frank view.
KLHC skipper Azlan Misron has his own personal reason to beat Maybank in both legs and play in the final.
He just completed his ‘akad-nikah’ on Sunday, and his ’bersanding’ ceremony will be held one day before the TNB Cup final.
“I hope to rally my men to beat Maybank and play in the final, as a personal wedding gift. It would be a wonderful moment for my me if I achieve my target,” said the national player.
Maybank coach Wallace Tan admitted his charges will be going in as the underdogs against a team which has nine national players.
“KLHC is simply too strong and it would be a difficult match, but having said that, we will not give up until the final whistle of both legs.
“We have been relying on counter-attacks in previous matches, but we need more than that if we want to upset an unbeaten KLHC,” said Wallace.
KLHC are the only unbeaten side this season, and if any team has the capabilities to change that, it would have to be Maybank.
As for Kuhan, who received a red card when playing against Nur Insafi in the first leg of the quarter-finals where his team lost 2-1, he has been suspended for two matches.
He did not play in the return leg against Nur Insafi, but still, Sapura pulled off a 2-0 win and advanced into the semis.
The former national skipper will sit our the first semis against Tenaga, and will be back for the second leg.
WEDNESDAY: Semi-finals (first leg): Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club v Maybank (National Stadium, Pitch II 6pm); Sapura v Tenaga Nasional (National Stadium, Pitch II 8pm).
FRIDAY: Semi-finals (second leg): Tenaga Nasional v Sapura (National Stadium, Pitch II 6pm); Maybank v Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (National Stadium, Pitch II 8pm).

Sapura need to buck up, quick

By Ajitpal Singh

LAST year's finalists Sapura have hit a bad patch, and this coming at the wrong time in the TNB Cup.
Sapura made life difficult for themselves with mediocre performances against Nur Insafi in both the quarter-final legs but they still had enough firepower to edge the Penang side 3-2 on aggregate.
Coach I. Vikneswaran must now work on improving his team ahead of the first leg semi-final against Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) on Wednesday.
"Our performances in both legs of the quarter-finals were collectively our worst performance in the league. We did not produce our true ability. It has come at the wrong time... we need to find solutions," said Vikneswaran.
"The league is tough and some of my players, especially the older ones who have minor injuries, are finding it tough to recover after each match."
Among Sapura's injured players are national player Azreen Rizal Nasir, who has missed six matches due to a hamstring tear and Craig Joseph Fernandez.
Sapura were also without former international S. Kuhan in their 2-0 second leg win over Nur Insafi as he was suspended for a red card in the first leg.
Vikneswaran hopes Kuhan will not be penalised further as he needs the penalty corner specialist for Wednesday's semi-final first leg match.
"Kuhan has served a mandatory one-match suspension but he could be suspended for a few more matches."
MHF technical committee chairman Hashim Mohd Yusoff said his committee will decide on Kuhan's fate today.
On the semi-finals, Vikneswaran said TNB hold a slight edge over his team.
"We lost 2-0 to them in the league but of course it is a different ball-game in the semi-finals, but from our performance in the quarters, TNB hold advantage.
"My mission is to get my players play good hockey once again. I am confident they will get their act together in the semi-finals," he added.
The other semi-final pits defending champions Kuala Lumpur HC against former champions Maybank.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kelly Tan has youth on her side

MALAYSIAN Kelly Tan was given the honour of sitting together with prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia champion Choi Na Yeon during the prize giving ceremony at the KLGCC.
The fact that Kelly finished tied 65th in a field of 72 was lost in the jubilation, as the 17-year-old amateur was the best Malaysian, and even outdid two local professionals when she returned 13-over 297.
The promising youngster had rounds of 77-73-74 and 73 and stood tall among the illustrious LPGA field.
“First of all, I would like to congratulate Sime Darby for hosting such a magnificent tournament which was broadcast live to many countries.
“Having said that, Malaysia are noted for being the best organisers in the world, but we have yet to show that we can win as well.
“Choi won because she has the skills and temperament to become a champion, which are also needed to win elections,” quipped the prime minister.
On Kelly the prime minister said: “I admire this youngster for finishing tops among Malaysian golfers, and hope one day when she is ready and turns professional, she will win the LPGA title for Malaysia.”
Second best local was also an amateur, Aretha Pan, on 14- over 298 to stand alone on No 67. Malaysian professionals Jean Chua was 21-over 305 for joint-69, while Ainil Johani ws 25-over 309 and joint-71.

Cool Korean Choi

SOUTH KOREAN Choi Na Yeon pocketed a cool US$285,000 when she lifted the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia crown on a 15-under 269 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.
She returned a 68 in the final round, which saw five birdies on the sixth, eighth, 12th, 15th and 17th and a double bogey on the second.
In second place and US$176,791 richer was world No 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan who ended 14-under 270, while Spaniard Azahara Munoz was third on a 12-under 272 total.
Choi, ranked No 4, had a nervous end-game, but kept her composure and temperament to avoid a play-off.
“I wasn’t nervous when I started but by the 15th, I was getting nervous when I heard Yani got two birdies (15th and 16th),
“The final four holes were quite rattling for me, but I still got the desired result and so it feels amazing holding the trophy,” said Choi.
The fact that she kept watching the leaderboard, and seeing Yani moving up steadily made her edgy.
“I keep watching the leaderboard today, and she’s (Yani) such an intimidating player, especially this year. I think she made me, like more nervous. But it’s a great experience really. I’m very happy what I got this week, and then next week I’m going to Taiwan, so hope to bring this momentum there too.”
She also attributed her composure to the tips given by her caddy Paul Fusco, who has been with her for more than two years.
“He has been my caddy for lmost 2 1/2 years. And I won my fifth title with him today (yesterday). I think we make good partners as he keeps encouraging me every time. When my caddie gave me number I just trust that number and hit the shot.
“The main thing is that I never gave up until the last hole. I feel I’m very proud of myself like how I control my emotions. I think that I had a great experience from this week, you know, and nobody can buy this experience.
As for Yani who started four shots adrift of the leader Choi yesterday but closed in steadily: “I played a great final round as I hit a lot of great shots. On the second hole, I hit into the water but I hit it so good . I don’t know. I know I’m going to be close but I didn’t know that close. So Na Yeon played great and she made a couple of birdies on the back nine. You know, it’s fun and I enjoy it, and I finished second this week, that means I still have space to improve next week (at home in Taiwan).
Choi and Yani traded places from last week, where Yani broke par and left the second spot to the Korean.
“Yeah, after that we still good friends and we were looking forward for another week to compete with like this week. We just switched places, last week I won and this week I’m second. So it was fun, fun to have a player like this that you can always compete with and be good friends with, too.”

Malaysia LPGA Final Round Scores

269 Choi Na Yeon (S Kor) 66-68-67-68.
270 Tseng Yani (Tai) 69-67-69-65.
272 Azahara Munoz (Sp) 67-68-68-69.
274 Pak Se-Ri (S Kor) 72-68-65-69.
275 Stacy Lewis (US) 68-65-72-70, Brittany Lang (US) 66- 67-69-73; 277 Angela Stanford (US) 71-71-68-67, Suzann Pettersen (Nor) 68-69-69-71; 278 Christel Boeljon (Ned) 68- 73-71-66, Feng Shanshan (Ch) 68-73-70-67, Amanda Blu menherst (US) 70-69-71-68, Paula Creamer (US) 71-67-69- 71.
279 Shin Jiyai (S Kor) 70-69-73-67, Kim In-Kyung (S Kor) 68-68-72-71; 280 Maria Hjorth (Swe) 66-76-71-67, Amy Yang (Kor) 69-69-74-68, Anna Nordqvist (Swe) 79-67-65- 69;
282 Chella Choi (S Kor) 74-70-68-70, Candie Kung (Tai) 70- 76-66-70, Melissa Reid (Eng) 72-71-68-71, Dewi Claire Schreefel (Ned) 66-68-76-72, Michelle Wie (US) 68-68-71- 75.
283 Mina Harigae (US) 74-70-71-68, Mika Miyazato (Jpn) 74-70-69-70, Jenny Shin (S Kor) 71-71-71- 70; 284 Christina Kim (US) 75-69-71-69, Katie Futcher (US) 69-70-75-70, Morgan Pressel (US) 71-71- 72-70, Kim Mi-hyun (S Kor) 72- 70-71-71, Natalie Gulbis (US) 71-71-70-72, Julieta Granada (Par) 70-71-71-72.
285 Yoo Sun Young (S Kor) 70-71-72-7, Catriona Matthew (Scot) 70-69-76-70, Ai Miyazato (Jpn), 72-68-72-73, Paige Mackenzie (US) 67-74-71-73, Caroline Hedwall (Swe) 72-70- 69-74, Sandra Gal (Ger) 72-70-67-76.
286 Momoko Ueda (Jpn) 71-72-71-72, Jennifer Song (US) 74-67-73-72, Meena Lee (S Kor) 74-70-73-69, Cristie Kerr (US) 72-72-75-67.
287 Brittany LINCICOME (US) 75-68-73-71, Karrie Webbb (Aus) 74-72-71-70, park Hee Young (S Kor) 74-71-73-69.
288 Frances Bondad (Aus) 70-73-71-74,
289 Eun-Hee Ji (S Kor) 72-69-72-76, Pornanong Phatlum (Thai) 73-74-69-73, Laura Davies (Eng) 74-72-72-71.
290 Karen Stupples (Eng) 74-73-73-70; 291 Wendy Ward (US) 77-68-71-75, Jimin Kang (S Kor) 69-72-75-75, Cindy Lacrosse (US) 74-71-72-74, Pat Hurst (US) 74-69-74-74.
292 Mindy Kim (US) 69-73-75-75, Amy Hung (Tai) 72-69- 76-75, Sophie Gustafson (Swe) 69-77-72-74.
293 Beatriz Recari (Sp) 73-73-75-72; 294 Kyeong Bae (S Kor) 75-76-70-73; 295 Vicky Hurst (US) 76-74-70-75, Kristy McPheerson (US) 73-78-71-73, Gerina Piller (US) 75-70-78- 72.
296 Porani Chutichai (Thai) 75-72-74-75, Juli Inkster (US) 76-75-75-70, Han Hee-Won (S Kor) 75-74-78-69.
297 Katherine Hull (Aus) 76-72-73-76, Kelly Tan [A] (Mas) 77-73-74-73.
298 Aretha Pan [A] (Mas) 75-76-74-73; 303 Tanaporn Kongkiatrai (Thai) 80-76-77-70; 305 Jean Chua (Mas) 76-78- 73-78, Ryann O’Toole (US) 82-75-74-74.
309 Ainil Johani (Mas) 76-80-77-76, Tiffany Joh (US) 80- 77-79-73-25.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


201 Choi Na-yeon (S Kor) 66-68-67; 202 Brittany Lang (US) 66-67-69;
203 Azahara Munoz (Spa) 67-68-68; 205 Se Ri-pak (S Kor) 72-68-65, Stacy Lewis (US) 68-65-72, Tseng Yani (Tai) 69-67-69.
206 Suzann Pettersen (Nor) 68-69-69; 207 Paula Creamer (US) 71-67-69;
207 Michelle Wie (US) 68-68-71; 208 Kim In-kyung (S Kor) 68-68-72;
209 Sandra Gal (Ger) 72-70-67; 210 Angela Stanford (US) 71-71-68, Amanda Blumenherst (US) 70-69-71, Dewi Claire Schreefel (Ned) 66-68-76; 211 Feng Shanshan (Ch) 68-73-70, Caroline Hedwall (Swe) 72-70-69, Melissa Reid (Eng) 72-71-68, Anna Nordqvist (Swe) 79-67-65.
212 Shin Jiyai (S Kor) 70-69-73, Ai Miyazato (Jpn) 72-68-72, Paige Mackenzie (US) 67-74-71, Julieta Granada (Par) 70-71-71, Christel Boeljon (Ned) 68-73-71, Natalie Gulbis (US) 71-71-70, Chella Choi (Kor) 74-70-68, Candie Kung (Tai) 70-76-66, Amy Yang (S Kor) 69-69-74;
213 Yoo Sun-young (S Kor) 70-71-72, Hee Ji-eun (Kor) 72-69-72, Maria Hjorth (Swe) 66-76-71, Jenny Shin (S Kor) 71-71-71, Mika Miyazato (Jpn) 74-70-69, Kim Mi-hyun (S Kor) 72-70-71.
214 Momoko Ueda (Jpn) 71-72-71, Katie Futcher (US) 69-70-75, Morgan Pressel (US) 71-71-72, Jennifer Song (US) 74-67-73, Frances Bondad (Aus) 70-73-71; 215 Catriona Matthew (Sco) 70-69-76, Christina Kim (US) 75-69-71, Mina Harigae (US) 74-70-71.
216 Jimin Kang (S Kor) 69-72-75, Brittany Lincicome (US) 75-68-73, Wendy Ward (US) 77-68-71, Pornanong Phatlum (Thai) 73-74-69; 217 Amy Hung (Tai) 72-69-76, Mindy Kim (US) 69-73-75, Pat Hurst (US) 74-69-74, Meena Lee (S Kor) 74-70-73, Cindy Lacrosse (US) 74-71-72, Karrie Webb (Aus) 74-72-71; 218 Laura Davies (Eng) 74-72-72, Park Hee-young (S Kor) 74-71-73, Sophie Gustafson (Swe) 69-77-72.
219 Cristie Kerr (US) 72-72-75; 220 Karen Stupples (Eng) 74-73-73, Vicky Hurst (US) 76-74-70; 221 Beatriz Recari (Spa) 73-73-75, Porani Chutichai (Tha) 75-72-74, Katherine Hull (Aus) 76-
72-73; 222 Kristy McPherson (US) 73-78-71; 223 Gerina Piller (US) 75-70-78; 224 Kelly Tan (Mas) amateur 77-73-74; 225 Aretha Pan (Mas) amateur 75-76-74; 226 Juli Inkster (US) 76-75-75; 227 Jean Chua (Mas) 76-78-73, Han Hee-won (Kor) 75-74-78; 231 Ryan O'Toole (US) 82-75-74;
233 Tanaporn Kongkiatkrai (Thai) 80-76-77, Ainil Johani Bakar (Mas) 76-80-77; 236 Tiffany Joh (US) 80-77-79.

MALAYSIAN LPGA: Korean Choi breaks free

THERE was another three hour delay at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) yesterday, but it worked wonders for three ladies poised at the top of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Leaderboard.
Rain and thunder was on the menu again, and so was plenty of food for outright leader Choi Na Yeon of South Korea who returned a 67 for a 12-under 201.
And flight mates Yani Tseng of Taiwan and Azahara Munoz of Spain were equally happy with the rain-delay, which allowed them to replenish their energy.
Second on the ladies show was Brittany Lang of the United States who had a 69 for a 11-under 202 lead.
Yani, the world No 1, had a third round 69 and is eight-under 205 for tied-fourth, while the Spaniard returned a 68 for tied-third on 10-under 203.
"I really enjoyed playing with Yani and Munoz as they were great company on the flight. However, my putter was cold in the morning but it picked up after I had birdies on the nine and 10th, and I started enjoying my round of golf as well.
"It is nice to be among the top, and I will try to hold onto my game and hopefully, the birdies roll in tomorrow (today)," said Choi.
She had nine top-ten finishes but no title to show this season, and hopes to break the jinx.
"I have been there many times this season, but never won anything so hopefully Sunday will be kind to me this time," said Choi.
As for World No 1 Yani, she just kept eating to while away the delay, and is within shot of the title as she is only four strokes adrift.
"The delay did not bother, or help my games because I was hitting birdies before and after. However, it allowed my to rest and eat, and hopefully there would not be any delays in the final round," said Yani.
Munoz was more at ease after her round saw four birdies in seven holes.
"The greens are nice and my game picked up after the four birdies, it is nice to be in contention going into the final, but it is a crowded race and hopefully I land my maiden LPGA title here," said the 2010 rookie of the year.

Sapura pull it off

SAPURA sneaked into the semi-finals of the TNB Cup when they defeated Nur Insafi Penang 2-0 in the second leg quarterfinal clash at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Having lost the first leg 2-1, Sapura's win gave them a 3-2 aggregate win and they will most likely play Tenaga Nasional Berhad in the semis on Wednesday. TNB hold a 5-1 first leg lead over YNS after the first leg.

RESULTS: Q-finals (second leg): Nur Insafi 0 v Sapura 2 (Sapura win on 3-2 aggregate); Yayasan NS 1 v Tenaga 4 (TNB win on 9-2 agg); UniKL 4 v Maybank 3 (Maybank win on 8-4 agg).
Semi-finals: Maybank v KLHC; Sapura v Tenaga.

Friday, October 14, 2011

MALAYSIA LPGA: Stacy n Brittany sing in the rain

RAIN and thunder wrecked the ladies attire and make-up, but not their determination as United States golfers Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lang stole the thunder with a nine-under 133 total in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.
The second round came to an abrupt stop for two hours, but continued under the KLGCC floodlights before the ladies packed off to get dolled up again for the official dinner.
Stacy fired six-under 65 yesterday, while Brittany had four-under 67 to share the leaderboard.
Following one stroke adrift were Dewi Claire of the Netherlands and Choi Na Yeon of South Korea on an eight-under 134 total.
Dewi had rounds of 66-68, while Choi also had identical scores to keep pace with the leaders.
World No 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan placed herself back into contention with a second round of four-under 67, and said she is looking forward to a full body massage after a hard day in office.
The pint-sized golfer had a 69 yesterday, but her three-consecutive birdies on the 12th, 13th and 14th made her among the golfers to watch going into the weekend.
She is now tied sixth, on a two round total on 136 -- just three strokes adrift of the leaders.
"I was just floating around as this is a very tough course with water at every hole. One can't make any mistakes here (KLGCC), but everything changed after the string of birdies.
She birdied the 18th just in time before play was stopped temporarily due to bad weather, and said it was great timing.
"I finished just at the right moment and it was great timing as I don't have to hang around the clubhouse. Now, I can go back to my hotel and have that full body massage that, oh I so need right now!"
Starting from the First Tee, She had a round of six birdies, and the unfortunate bogey holes were on the fifth and ninth.
Yani will be playing in Taiwan LPGA next week and hopes pressure does not undo her game.
"I'm very excited to play at home. My friends, my family, everybody is coming to support my. Like I say I will try to do my best and I want to win next week. So I will try not to put too much pressure on myself, and enjoy the crowd in Taiwan.
"I get much attention back home now, as when I walk on the street or when I go to restaurants, the people can recognise me and cheer for me, support me and say, oh, you did a good job! and we always root for you. That made me feel really good."

SELECTED SECOND RD SCORES -- 133 Stacy Lewis (US) 68-65, Brittany Lang (US) 66-66.
134 Choi Na Yeon (S Kor) 66-68, Dewi Claire (Ned) 66-68.
135 Azahara Munoz (Sp) 67-68; 136 Yani Tseng (Tai) 69-67, I.K. Kim (S Kor) 68-68, Michelle Wie (US) 68-68; 137 Suzann Pettersen (Nor) 68-69.
138 Paula Creamer (US) 71-67, Amy Kang (S Kor) 69-69; 139 Amanda Blumenherst (US) 70-69, Katie Futcher (US) 69-70, Catriona MAtthew (Scot) 70-69, Shin Jiyai (S Kor) 70-69.
140 Ai Miyazato (Jpn) 72-68, Pak Se Ri (S Kor) 72-68; 141 Jennifer Song (US) 74-67, Julieta Granada (PAra) 70-71, Amy Hung (Tai) 72-69, Ji WEun-Hee (S Kor) 72 69, Christel Boeljon (Ned) 68-73, Jimin Kang (S Kor) 69-72, Yoo Sun Young (S Kor) 70-71, Shanshan Feng (Ch) 68-73, Paige MacKenzie (US) 67-74.
...150 Kelly Tan (Mas) 77-73; 151 Aretha Pan (Mas) 75-76; 154 Jean Chua (Mas) 76-78; 156 Ainil Johani 76-80.

MALAYSIA LPGA: Kelly having fun

KELLY TAN was a sweet as her age, as the 17-year-old Malaysian took her two rounds at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGC) as an entertaining challenge and not problemetic.
Chirpy as ever during the press conference, she was not the least bothered by the two-and-a-half holes she left, after rain and thunderstorm interrupted play.
Kelly fired a 77 in the frist round, and her second round blew up to 73 after a double bogey in the final hole to bring her total to eight-over 150.
She had to wait for two hours, before resuming her game over two-and-half holes after rain finally stopped.
"I'm doing Ok, nothing to worry about as my game has been solid but for the missed greens. Somehow, I missed five greens today (yesterday) and that made it a little uphill," said the budding golfer.
She blamed it on wrong irons, which means she has still a lot to learn.
"I used some wrong irons and missed the greens, which made making birdies difficult. But I'm not worries, as I feel my game will pick up during the weekend," said Kelly.
The tournament does not have a cut-off mark, which means the amateur can enjoy two more rounds of solid gold among the best in the world.
Her five bogies were on the first, fourth, fifth, 11th and 16th. Her four birdies were on the third, sixth, 10th and 12th.
The other Malaysians finished their rounds and Aretha Pan was on a nine-over 151 total (75-76), Jean Chua was 12-over 154 (76-78), while Ainil Johani was 14 over 156 (76-80).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

MALAYSIAN LPGA: First Round Scores

PIC: Brittany Lang of the United States.

FIRST Rd Scores: 66 Maria Hjorth (Swe), Brittany Lang (US), Dewi Claire (Ned), Choi Na Yeon (S Kor).
67 Paige MacKenzie (US), Azahara Munoz (Sp); 68 Christel Boeljon (Ned), Feng Shanshan (Ch), Kim I.K (S Kor), Stacy Lewis (US), Suzann Pettersen (Nor), Michelle Wie (US).
69 Katie Futcher (US), Mindy Kim (US), Amy Yang (S Kor), Sophie Gustafson (Swe), Jimin Kang (S Kor), Yani Tseng (Tai).
70 Amanda Blumenherst (US), Frances Bondad (Aus), Julieta Granada (Par), Candie Kung (Tai), Jiyai Shin (S Kor), Sun Young Yoo (S Kor), catriona matthew (Scot).
71 Jenny Shin ( S Kor), momoko Ueda (Jpn), paula Creamer (US), Natalie Gulbis (US), Morgan Pressel (US), Angela Stan ford (US).
72 Sandra Gal (Ger, Am), caroline Hedwall (Swe), Amy Hung (Tai), Ji Eun-Hee (S Kor), Cristie Kerr (US), Kim Mi Hyun (US), Ai Miyazato (Jpn), pak Sr Ri ( Skor), Melissa Reid (Bri).
73 Beatrice Recari (Sp), Kristy McPherson (US), Pornanong Phatlum (Thai); 74 pat Hurst (US), Mika Miyazato (Jpn), karrie Webb (Aus), Meena Lee (S Kor), Park Hee Young (S Kor), Jennifer Song (US), Chella Choi (S Kor), mina Harigae (US), Karen Stupples (Eng), laura Davis (Eng), Cindy Lacrosse (US).
75 Han Hee-Won (S Kor), Porani Chutichai (Thai), Brittany Lincicome (US), Aretha Pan (Mas), Kyeong Bae (S Kor), Christina Kim (US), Gerina Philler (US).
76 Jean Chua (Mas), Katherine Hull (Aus), Juli Inkster (US), Vicky Hurst (US), Ainil Johani (Mas).
77 Kelly Tan (Mas), Wendy Ward (US); 79 Anna Nordqvist (Swe); 80 Tiffany Joh (US), Tanaporn Kongkiatkrai (Thai); 82 Rynn O’Toole (US).

MALAYSIAN LPGA: Four ladies sit pretty

Pic: Yeon Na Choi of South Korea.

By Jugjet Singh

THE first round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia saw four ladies from four different countries sharing the joint lead at the sun-baked Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) yesterday.
The course played to a par-71, and the weather was hotter than the ladies putters as the four leaders returned tied on five-under 66.
Yeon Na Choi of South Korea, Maria Hjorth of Sweden, Dewi Claire of Netherlands and Brittany Lang of the United States sat on the clouded leader-board which could swing either way today.
Because snapping on their high heels are Paige Mackenzie of the USA and Azahara Munoz of Spain on four-under 67s.
Brittany Lang broke into song when asked about her round: “I played really well after getting off to a great start with a birdie on the third to be one-under, after which, the balls just sailed in,” said the American.
Brittany followed with a birdie on the fifth and eighth, before her only blemish on the 11th, to come out tops with three more birdies on the 12th, 16th and 17th.
“This is my second year at this course and this this time around the greens are a lot softer. I guess they've got a lot more range which makes the course easier, because last year it was tricky with the firm greens, so I'm thankful for that. That's probably the only change.
“It just felt very effortless today (yesterday). I really just tried to get out of my own way and have more fun. By doing that, I’ve had more energy, I’ve had more fun, and I’m playing better,” said Brittany.
Swede Maria felt a peace on the greens, and the birdies just followed.
“ Well, everything was really good. I felt very comfortable. I felt at peace out there and everything went really well. I hit a lot of greens, as I was driving well the whole morning.
“It’s the first round I know, but being tied for the lead is a big boost. You can always if you put yourself in a good position.
“Last week I had a bad first round (Solheim Cup), and it just became hard to catch up. Obviously for a four day tour nament, it makes it a little easier to catch up, but it’s always great to be up there and not too far off. You have a good chance, and you just have to go out there tomorrow and try to dot same thing,” said the Swede.
World No 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan had a bad day as she could only manage a two-under 69 to be placed tied 13th.
The other top 10 players Suzann Petterson of Norway was three-under-68 and on tied-17th; Cristie Kerr of the US was one-over 72 for 32nd while Stacy Lewis of the US had three- under 68 to be tied at the seventh spot.

Sapura plan for fight back

PIC: S. KUHAN red carded against Nur Insafi.

THREE teams have virtually booked their semi-final slots in the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), while only one quarter-finals tie threatening to swing either way.
Today, double champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club, who hammered Division One champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt 7-1 in the first leg of the quarter-finals, will return to the field to score more goals in the lop-sided clash.
Maybank also have a 5-0 cushion against UniKl, while Tenaga Nasional beat Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) 5-1 to cement their semis slot.
All three clashes will be held tomorrow at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Sapura, who ended up at the losing end with a 1-2 score and a red card to their skipper S. Kuhan, are looking to bounce back.
“Nothing went right in that mid-week match. I am not one to make excuses, but many of my players have a job and family to think of first, before playing hockey.
“So, it would have been better if the math had been held on a weekend. However, having said that, we can’t afford another blunder on Saturday and throw away our second life- line,” said Sapura coach I. Vickneswaran.
Sapura hammered Nur Insafi 7-1 in the League match, so it came as a surprise on how they fared in the quarter- finals.
“I believe many factors worked towards our poor show in the first leg, but since it is only a slim one-goal lead, we will work twice harder to bounce back and play in the semi- finals,” said Vickneswaran.
TODAY: Q-finals (second leg): SSTMI-Thunderbolt (0) v KL Hockey Club (7) (KLHA Stadium, 6pm)
TOMORROW: Q-finals (second leg): Nur Insafi (2) v Sapura (1) (National Stadium, 4pm), Yayasan NS (1) v Tenaga (5) (National Stadium, 6pm), UniKL (0) v Maybank (5) (national Stadium, 8pm)
Note: First round scores in parenthesis.

Sapura in a big mess

Nur Insafi goalkeeper Ezuan Ghazali fends off a shot by a Sapura player in their TNB Cup match at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday. — Picture by Supian Ahmad

DEFENDING champions KL Hockey Club (KLHC), Maybank and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) recorded convincing victories on a day Nur Insafi upset last year’s finalists Sapura in the quarter-final first leg of the TNB Cup yesterday.
Sapura were expected to breeze past Nur Insafi but the Penang-based side turned the tables to win 2-1 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. It was a surprising result, considering that Sapura had beaten them 7-1 in the Premier League.
And to make matters worse, Sapura captain and former international S. Kuhan was sent off by umpire R. Anbanathan for allegedly using foul language on him in the 48th minute. It was the first red this season. Four players were also sent to the sin-bin for yellow card offences in the match.
Nur Insafi sounded the board after 14 minutes when Damandeep Singh broke on the left to score past Sapura goalkeeper Khairulnizam Ibrahim.
Manraj Singh could have levelled for Sapura but the son of former national coach Sarjit Singh missed a sitter in front of the Nur Insafi goalmouth.
Harris Fadzila Zulkafli scored Nur Insafi’s second goal in the 47th minute before Sapura’s Kuhan received a red card a minute later.
Sapura, however, reduced the deficit through Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi’s penalty corner attempt two minutes from time.
“Nur Insafi capitalised on our mistakes. This is sports... sometimes you win and sometimes it is just not your day. I need to make changes as Kuhan is suspended for the second leg,” said Sapura coach I. Vikneswaran yesterday.
Two goals each from Hafifihafiz Hanafi and Zulhairi Hashim helped former champions Maybank record an impressive 5-0 victory over UniKL. Engku Abdul Malek Engku Mohd also added his name onto the score sheet after scoring from a penalty stroke.
Despite the huge margin of victory, Maybank coach Wallace Tan said the tie is far from over.
“We scored five because we took our chances well. UniKL are a tough team and we cannot afford to take them lightly in the second leg,” said Wallace yesterday.
KLHC effectively blanked Division One champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt 7-0 with penalty corner specialist Razie Rahim and Tengku Hamad Tajuddin Abdul Jalil scoring five goals between them.
National forward Faizal Saari powered TNB to a 5-1 victory over Yayasan Negri Sembilan (YNS) with three goals in the 21st, 60th and 70th minutes.
Amin Rahim (16th) and Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi (33rd) were TNB’s other scorers while YNS replied through Shahbaz Ali (69th).
RESULTS — Q-final, 1st leg: Maybank 5 UniKL 0, Sapura 1 Nur Insafi 2, Tenaga 5 Yayasan NS 1, KL Hockey Club 7 SSTMI-Thunderbolt 0.
FIXTURES — Tomorrow: SSTMI-Thunderbolt v KL Hockey Club (KLHA Stadium; 6pm); Saturday: Nur Insafi v Sapura (4pm), Yayasan NS v Tenaga (6pm), UniKL v Maybank (8pm) — Matches at the National Hockey Stadium (Pitch 2) in Bukit Jalil.

Yani aims to go seven-up

Paula Creamer (in pink) watches as a boy makes a shot during the coaching clinic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.

WORLD No 1 Yani Tseng will look to extend her dominance of women’s golf when she chases her seventh tournament win of the year against a star-studded field at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
The Taiwanese player, 22, is full of confidence after already winning six tournaments this year, including last week’s LPGA Hana Bank Championship in South Korea.
She is the top draw at the US$1.9 million (RM6 million) event, which tees off in Kuala Lumpur today, but will need to contend with a top-flight field that includes nine of the world’s top 10 golfers.
“Obviously, I’m feeling confident, especially after winning in South Korea last week,” she said.
Yani, who is the youngest golfer — man or woman — to win five majors, is the undisputed No 1 on the Rolex Rankings. She attributed her form to her enjoyment of the game.
“People say I have had a good year, but I just enjoy the game and I think that’s why I’ve been doing well,” said Yani, who won this year’s LPGA Championship and the Women’s British Open.
“Every day, every hole, I just focus and try my best.
“For me, I can easily get over not playing well one week and focus on the next tournament.”
The Malaysian event, now in its second year, will also feature top 10 players Suzann Petterson, Cristie Kerr, Na Yeon Choi, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Ai Miyazato, and Paula Creamer.
Michelle Wie, ranked No 14 in the world, and defending champion Jimin Kang also have entered the four-day stroke play event, which has no cut and is being played at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
Cristie, the American World No 3,who finished 35th in South Korea, admitted she has yet to fully recover from a tendonitis injury to her right wrist that is causing her severe pain.
"It is still not 100 per cent right but I’m managing the pain,” said the former World No 1.
“I’ve played through a broken rib, I’ve played through knee issues, neck issues, but this is the worst pain I’ve ever experienced but I’m managing it.”
Meanwhile, Yani, the Sultanah of Kedah Haminah Hamidun and her teammates, Datuk Aishah Ahmad and Puan Sri Lee Hong Jegathesan took second place in the Pro-Am competition yesterday.
The foursome shot a best net score of 49 but lost out on the top spot on countback to the team of Park Hee Young, Joe Carlos, Ho Kay Tat and Tan Thiam Hock.
In third place was Laura Davies and Tunku Puteri Intan Syafinaz, Ida Farhany and Ezani Bakar.
Former TV3 sports editor Abu Bakar Atan scored a hole-in-one on the Par 3 17th. — AFP

Monday, October 10, 2011

Top lady golfers chip in

(Left to right) Jean Chua, Paula Creamer, Jennifer Song, Cristie Kerr and Natalie Gulbis showing their support for the fight against breast cancer.

FOUR lady golfers have secured a string of birdies even before the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tees off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) on Thursday, when they pledged a portion of their tournament winning towards research on breast cancer.
And yesterday the LPGA stars Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and Jennifer Song (all from the United States), visited the Sime Darby Medical Centre in Subang Jaya to officially launch the new Breast Care Centre.
The generous contribution from the Tour players, will be a warm welcome to the tournament charity, which will be running a study called More than A Mammo Programme together with Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya’s Breast Care Centre.
Last year’s inaugural Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia raised a total of around RM500,000 via the tournament’s ticket sales and the annual prestigious Gala Dinner.
The 2010 tournament donations were used to develop the Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) Patient Nav igation Program, a decision aid to be an educational tool to essentially support patients.
On her thoughts about the visit, World No 8 on the Rolex Rankings, Creamer said: ““It has truly been wonderful visiting the Sime Darby Medical Centre, learning more about CARIF and what it does to contribute to breast cancer research and to improve survival for breast cancer patients in Malaysia.
“We have started the sponsorship process here via the ‘Pink Swing’ and I pledge to continue to do my part to spread the message, especially this week during the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.”
Kerr, who currently stands at World No 3, led the ribbon- cutting ceremony at the Centre.
Kerr, who turns 34 years old on Wednesday, founded “Birdies for Breast Cancer” in the US in 2003, a foundation which raises money through donations and an annual charity event. Kerr and Gulbis joined Michelle Wie in last year’s inaugural visit to the tournament charity’s main site.
Fellow American, Gulbis said: “Last year’s visit was a real eye-opener for me and I would like to thank everyone involved in allowing me to be part of this year’s opening of the new Breast Care Centre by the hospital. “
For more information on the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2011, please visit the event website - http://simedarbylpga

Genda Singh calls it a day

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor with former national athletes (from right) Genda Singh, Moe Chin Kiat, Dattaya Muthiah, Safarrudin Mohd Zain, Mary Soo and Datuk M. Rajamani at the 1Malaysia Athletes Festive Celebration in Bukit Jalil yesterday. — Picture by Rosdan Wahid

FORMER national hammer thrower Genda Singh passed away at the Universiti Medical Center on Sunday night after a short illness. He was 89 years old.
He started competing for Malaya in 1960 and continued to be an active member of the national athletics team until he retired in 1977.
He was 55 years old then and he went on to win a bronze medal while nursing an injury during the SEAP Games held in Kuala Lumpur that year.
Genda is among those rare athletes of an era where sporting glory was the ultimate quest for the national stars.

UniKL-Maybank: Explosive encounter

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) will cruise into the semi-finals, that is a fact, but the other three last-eight matches of the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League are expected to go to the wire.
KLHC,who romped away with the Charity Shield and League title, are expected to maul Division One champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt to the tune of double digits in the two leg quarters which start tomorrow.
However, Maybank and UniKL are expected to be the closest as they drew 2-2 in the League, while Tenaga Nasional beat Yayasan Negri Sembilan 3-0.
The last quarters is between Sapura and Nur Insafi, and the League score of 7-1 in favour of Sapura should not be taken into account.
The Maybank-UniKL clash will be the most exciting, as both teams have some youthful talent on their side.
Maybank can also rely on experienced hands in Hairul Nizam and Zulhairi Hashim -- who have proven to be a deadly penalty corner battery.
“It will be close, so every chance that comes our way must not be wasted. I expect UniKL to play their usual fast attacking hockey, which might only allow us to rely on counter attacks for goals,” said Maybank coach Wallace Tan.
The fact that the University side used their speed effectively to rob two points off Maybank has not been forgotten by Wallace: “They did that (playing at a high tempo) with devastating effect in the League and my players now know that we can’t take them for granted as they have some talented youngsters who can’t be allowed to roam freely.”
UniKL, dogged by a doping scandal, hope to ride on their surprise fifth finish in the highly competitive League.
“We have had some issues, but that is all behind us as we prepare for the knock-our stage. Reaching the last four is our target now and to achieve it, we need to seal it in the first leg itself,” said UniKL team manager Amir Azhar.
“We are quite comfortable with playing Maybank, and our guide to upsetting them will be learning how they sidestepped Tenaga Nasional (Maybank won 2-1) and plug ging the loopholes in their strategy,” said Amir.
However, the winner of the Maybank-UniKL match will face a torrid semi-finals as they will surely meet KLHC.
The other half of the draw is much kinder to teams who advance to the semis.
WEDNESDAY -- Quarter-finals (first leg): KL Hockey Club v SSTMI-Thunderbolt (KLHA Stadium, 6pm), UniKL v May bank (National Stadium Pitch II, 4pm), Sapura v Nur Insafi (National Stadium Pitch II, 6pm), Tenaga Nasional v Yayasan NS (National Stadium Pitch II, 8pm)
FRIDAY (second leg): SSTMI-Thunderbolt v KL Hockey Club (KLHA Stadium, 6pm).
SATURDAY (second leg): Nur Insafi v Sapura (National Stadium Pitch 1, 6pm), Yayasan NS v Tenaga Nasional (National Stadium Pitch II, 6pm), Maybank v UniKL (National Stadium Pitch II, 8pm).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

KLHC simply the best..

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) beat Sapura 5-1 to lift the TNB-Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division title at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night.
The unbeaten champions received RM60,000, while Sapura pocketed RM40,000 and third-placed Tenaga Nasional received RM30,000.
And double champions KLHC will have two 'rest days' in the Quarter-finals as they will play Division One champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt and the score should reach double-digit.
Sapura and will play seventh-place Nur Insafi.
"We have achieved two of our targets (Charity Shield and League title) and going into the Overall battle, my players will keep the same tempo and there will be no mercy against the Division One champions.
"We are dead serious about the knock-out stages, and will field our best even when playing against weaker sides," warned KLHC team manager George Koshy.
Yesterday, KLHC got their goals off Fitri Saari (27th), Razie Rahim (41st), Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (45th), Ismail Abu (61st)and Amerullah Aziz (65th).
Sapura's consolation was scored by skipper S. Kuhan in the 57th minute.
Maybank ended fourth in the League when they beat Nur Insafi 7-4 in a highly entertaining match.
The Tigers were 3-0 up in the first 10 minutes off Zulhairi Hashim (second), Azrul Effendy (eighth) and Amirullah Zainol (ninth).
Nur Insafi pulled a goal back through Damandeep Singh in the 14th minute but Maybank restored their three goal advantage when Mohammad Syafiq Zain scored in the 24th minute.
Nur Insafi managed to score two more goals before the halftime break off Nur Hrsikesa (27th) and Damandeep (33rd) for a halftime score of 4-3 in favour of the bankers.
But the Tigers woke up from their slumber and a penalty corner conversion by Zulhairi in the 39th minute extended their lead to 5-3 before Hairul Nizam (45th) and Hafifihafiz Hanafi (46th) handed the win to Maybank.
Nur Insafi scored in the 54th minute through Damandeep to make the final score 7-4.



P W D L F A Pts
KLHC 8 8 0 0 45 12 24
Sapura 8 6 0 2 25 14 18
TNB 8 5 1 2 26 8 16
Maybank 8 4 1 3 23 16 13
UniKL 8 2 4 2 19 22 10
YNS 8 3 1 4 12 21 10
Nur Insafi 8 2 1 5 18 33 7
UiTM 8 0 3 5 7 27 3
Airod 8 0 1 7 11 33 1

Division One

P W D L F A Pts
T’bolt 8 4 4 0 22 17 16
Uniten 8 3 3 2 16 16 12
Ipoh CH 8 3 3 2 16 19 12
BJSS 8 2 3 3 19 13 9
UNIMAP 8 1 1 6 13 21 4

RESULTS: Premier Division: YNS 0 UiTM 0, Maybank 7 Nur Insafi 4, UniKL 4 Armed Forces Airod 2, KL Hockey Club 5 Sapura 1.
Division One: Ipoh City Hall 2 UniTen 3, UNIMAP 2 BJSS 5.

WEDNESDAY -- Quarter-finals (first leg): KL Hockey Club v SSTMI-Thunderbolt (KLHA Stadium, 6pm), UniKL v Maybank (National Stadium Pitch II, 4pm), Sapura v Nur Insafi (National Stadium Pitch II, 6pm), Tenaga Nasional v Yayasan NS (National Stadium Pitch II, 8pm)
FRIDAY (second leg): SSTMI-Thunderbolt v KL Hockey Club (KLHA Stadium, 6pm).
SATURDAY (second leg): Nur Insafi v Sapura (National Stadium Pitch 1, 6pm), Yayasan NS v Tenaga Nasional (National Stadium Pitch II, 6pm), Maybank v UniKL (National Stadium Pitch II, 8pm).