Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Aussie Goss in charge

AUSTRALIAN Oliver Goss set the pace with a four-under 68 at the 25th MPI-Saujana Amateur Championship, three shots ahead of Malaysian Amateur Open Champion Gavin Kyle Green and national player Chan Tuck Soon.
  The 18-year-old from Royal Freemantle GC, Perth, notched up 6 birdies at holes 3, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 18 but suffered a double bogey at the uphill 446-yard par-four  when his tee shot took a bad kick into a thick stand of trees.
  “I putted well. I made some long putts but missed some short ones too,” said Oliver whose drive averages 300+ yards. “I made birdies from 18 and 21 feet at holes 11 and 12 and at the par five, 13th my second shot with an eight-iron went past the pin by 18 feet where I two-putted for birdie. If you hit a bad shot in this course, you’ve lost the hole.”
   As for defending champion Gavin, it was an up and down day after posting six birdies and giving five back through bogeys. “I was grinding today, the course was playing harder,” said Gavin who is back for a short visit from the US.
  Gavin ended the last two holes with memorable birdies. At the 17th par-four, he drove well over 360 yards, about 35 yards past the green, but managed to chip to within seven feet for a birdie. At the final par five hole, he used a two-iron after driving 350 yards but ended up at the greenside bunker. He got up and down for another birdie.
  Tuck Soon posted four birdies against three bogeys for his 71 to share the second spot with Gavin.

RESULTS (Malaysia unless stated):

68 Oliver Goss (Aus); 71 Gavin Green, Chan Tuck Soon; 72 Ryan Peake (Aus), Dulal Hossain (Bang), Chieh-Po Lee (Tai), Shinichi Mizuno (HK); Afif Razif;, Arie Irawan.
73 Lucius Toh (Sing), Jean Baptiste Chaumont; 75 Marc Ong (Sing), Sajib Ali (Bang), Jonar Austria (Phil), Sean Niven, Tan Wei Chean;
76  John Kier Abdon (Phil), N. Thangaraja (S Lanka), Jerome Ng (Sing);
77 Mohamad Diab Alnoaimi (Baharin), Dennis Lim (Sing), Allan Yap.

Stuck on unlucky 13th...

MALAYSIA'S world ranking does not reflect their true strength, as the unlucky 13th came about after a string of misfortunes and near-misses at the world stage.
  Defeats in the Invercargill World Cup Qualifier to New Zealand (2-1) and against Pakistan (2-0) in the Asian Games sealed the seniors fate.
  And it was further compounded when they failed at the Dublin Olympic Qualifier as they handed the final ticket to South Korea on a 3-2 defeat.
  New Zealand advanced to the World Cup, Pakistan to the Olympics and South Korea also to the Olympics -- courtesy of Malaysia's well known hospitality on the artificial pitch.
  As a result, Malaysia will be stuck at the unlucky 13th, as only teams who play in the World Cup, Olympics and Champions Trophy can break into the top-10 ranking.
   At the ongoing Azlan Shah Cup, Malaysia against showed that they have the stomach to challenge the best, but it is of no use, as the tournament does not offer International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings as it is an Invitational which has survived 21 Editions.
   Britain, fourth, are followed by sixth-ranked South Korea, New Zealand (7th), Pakistan (8th), Argentina, (9th) and India (10th) as all of them have qualified for the Olympics and are assured of no lower than 12th after the July 27th tournament ends.
  That is why, the 1-1 draw against South Korea, and the 3-3 comeback against Britain should not be taken lightly, but as a positive sign that Malaysia are on the rise.
  The 3-2 defeat to India was also riddled with a tale of near-misses, as Faizal Saari was on his off day.
  The 20-year-old, who helped Malaysia win the Junior Asia Cup by scoring six goals, has placed more established strikers like Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Marhan jalil and Hafifi Hafiz in the shadows.
  And his brother Fitri is also showing signs in Ipoh that he will be the next Malaysian player to watch.
  Malaysia still have matches against Pakistan, New Zealand and Argentina where nine points can be harvested if they continue playing like they did against India.
  The unlucky 13th might just turn out to be their lucky charm in the Azlan Shah Cup, if the three remaining foes believe too much in rankings.
  WEDNESDAY: Argentina v India (4pm), Britain v New Zealand (6pm), Pakistan v Malaysia (8pm).
  MAY 31: Britain v South Korea (4pm), Pakistan v India (6pm), New Zealand  v  Malaysia (8pm).
  JUNE 2: South Korea v New Zealand (4pm), Britain v Pakistan (6pm), Argentina v Malaysia (8pm).