• Ly Hong lands Liberty Cup

        Cambodia’s leading amateur golfer Ly Hong won the second edition of the winner-takes-all 2014 Liberty Cup after a two-round 78 gross score in the Stableford tournament which concluded at the Sir Nick Faldo-
        designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap yesterday.
        The left-handed Ly Hong, who had represented Cambodia in both the 2011 SEA Games and the 2010 Asian Games, shot a one-over-par 73 to lead the field in the first round which was played at the Phokeethra Country Club on Monday.

        Cambodia’s Ly Hong clinched the 2014 Liberty Cup in Siem reap yesterday. Photo Supplied

        He handily kept the lead by firing an identical score at the AGR for a tally of 78 points under the fixed Stableford point system. The long-driving Ly Hong placed great importance on his short game and putting. “I’m very happy to have participated in Liberty Cup for the second year in a row. I really enjoyed myself and have built good relationship with other participants,” the 42 year old told the Post. “Second shots are very important, especially [at the] Angkor Golf Resort, and they turned out well for me.”

        The Kingdom’s cup of joy overflowed after a similarly sounding Lee Hong emerged as the men’s nett winner, even as the 2013 champion Alex Yap of Malaysia could only finish third.
        As many as 14 local golfers were in a field of 88 drawn from Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The event was jointly organised by Malaysia’s Liberty Golf Services and Cambodia-based PSD travel.

        The 2013 Carlsberg Golf Classic champion Roszali Baharuddin of Malaysia finished tied for 11th. “It’s my first time to Cambodia and it’s an amazing country. My deepest gratitude to Carlsberg Malaysia for sponsoring me to participate in this great event,” he told the Post.
        Meanwhile, Lillian Wong of Malaysia became the first women’s champion with a two-round score of 69 in a field that included eight of her compatriots.

        The organisers invited BFT, a Siem Reap-based children’s charity organisation for a charity drive – a hole-in-one competition. While the kids enjoyed the golfing bit, they also entertained the tournament participants to a grand dance performance.
        The key partners to the Liberty Cup were Transview Golf, Titoni, Carlsberg, RHB Bank, Angkor Golf Resort, Phokeethra Country Club, Casillero del Diablo and Vittel.

      • Faldo Series Asia gets set for return to Siem Reap course

        Siem Reap’s Angkor Golf Resort, which carries six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo’s creative imprint, will host the Cambodian leg of the Faldo Series Asia in either the last week of June or the first week of July.
        After two successful seasons, the event returns to the Kingdom, which features among 14 countries hosting 19 tournaments through the year as British legend Faldo continues to paint a global picture for youth golf.

        Thailand's Watcharasit Trachuentong plays during the 2012 Faldo Series Cambodia championship at Angkor Golf Resort. photo by Sreng Meng Srun

        Apart from Cambodia, the 2013/2014 cycle includes events in mainland China (four), India (two), the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.
        Traditionally the series concludes at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China, with the Asia Grand Final which is a world amateur golf ranking event.

        The Faldo Series Asia is supported by The R&A, ISPS Handa and Mission Hills. It is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation.
        Meanwhile, 70 of the most promising junior golfers in Asia and five winners from the 2013 Faldo Seires Grand Final at The Greenbrier in West Virginia will reach Mission Hills for the Eighth Asia Grand Final set for March 11-13.

        “Last March, Luo Xue-Wen was crowned our first Chinese champion at the end of a landmark week for golf in China, where we also celebrated Guan Tianlang’s trip to Augusta,” Faldo said in a statement made available to the Post.
        “I always look forward to returning to Mission Hills. It is their support, together with The R&A and ISPS Handa, which allows us to bring opportunity to the finalists and thousands of young Asian golfers each year.”

        Established in 1996, 40 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 30 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year. Past winners include Major champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.

        This September, Sir Nick will begin taking students at a full-time residential academy for education and golf development in the United States. The first ever Faldo Series Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona, is also home to the Faldo Series USA and marks the next significant step in the programme’s history.

      • The award-winning Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap is well known as one of Sir Nick Faldo’s classy designs.
        It is also the home of the six-time Major winner’s annual grassroots development initiatiative Faldo Series, the second edition of which concluded two weeks ago.
        If the present director of golf at AGR, David Baron, carries out his own master plan for the development of the game, the resort could well house a purpose-built international golf academy in the near future. What is driving Baron is the passion he shares with the resort in promoting golf through junior initiatives.
        “As a member of the PGA I am happy to be a part of this and willing to give my time and use of the AGR facilities to enthusiastic kids who want to learn,” Baron, who is from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, told the Post in an exclusive chat yesterday.

        David Baron holds a coaching session for local children at Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap. PHOTO SUPPLIED

        With a wealth of experience both as a PGA professional and top level management executive behind him, Baron, who has extensively coached juniors in Hong Kong and China, is setting out to help Cambodian youngsters who are keen on developing their golf skills,
        “I taught hundreds of junior golfers at the prestigious Hong Kong Golf Club. However, golf is more mainstream and accessible to kids in HK with a strong golf association backing,” the AGR director of golf pointed out.

        Another well-structured golf body Baron had worked with was in China, where he opened a PGA-endorsed academy as the first Jack Nicklaus-branded academy.
        The first phase of his long-term plan is already in motion. He has been spending his time in imparting basic golf lessons at the AGR to students from several Siem Reap schools to spread the game’s appeal among the youth.

        In the weeks and months to come, Baron hopes to organise regular golf clinics and nine-hole tournaments in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to follow up on the splendid efforts being made by former Australian amateur team captain Roger Hunt, who has been serving the Cambodian Golf Federation as an adviser for the past five years in a purely voluntary capacity.

        Baron considers support from other clubs and the CGF vital to the success of his mission. Using golf, Baron is also helping a major health initiative by partnering with Cambodian Diabetes Association, encouraging the local NGO to bring kids to the resort for educational classes on the dangers, causes and prevention of diabetes.

        A free golf clinic will be conducted for the benefit of these children with an emphasis on fitness. The leader of the NGO, Lorraine Fraser King, is fully supportive of this partnership.

      • HS Manjunath

        It was 12 years ago that Michael Moir beat the freezing cold to win the Scottish Boys Golf Championship at his home town course of Royal Aberdeen.
        At the Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap yesterday, the Scot, now a proud owner of Bangkok-based sports-apparel brand Fenix, relived that teenage triumph in parts to grab top honours in the Angkor Amateur Open after a suspense-filled final round.

        Scotland’s Michael Moir won the 2013 Angkor Amateur Open yesterday at Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap by a single stroke over runner-up Ly Hong of Cambodia. PHOTO SUPPLIED

        He had six layers of clothing when he made that piece of history as a teenager in sub-zero conditions. But on a hot, windless day in the city famous for Angkorian-era temples, he could have done with a bare minimum.
        “Sure of that” Moir coyly told the Post in a clubhouse conversation after his two round gross 148 was good enough to edge out last year’s winner Cambodia’s Ly Hong, who was agonisingly one behind at 149.

        The left-handed Ly Hong, who had carried the Kingdom’s aspirations both at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, found the drink instead of the fairway on the 18th and with it drowned his chances of forcing a possible play-off. The Scotsman came away safe and sound, though his second round five-over par was a pale shadow of his brilliant first round 71, which in fact matched an identical round by guest professional Scott Hend.

        Australian Hend, who is indisputably the longest hitter on the Asian Tour, marked his inspirational presence with a second round 69 for a regal four under 140. The bar was so high that the Beat the Pro challenge, which carried some lucrative offers for the novices, was never quite on.
        “This is my first visit to Cambodia. I like the course. Driving from the black tees makes a huge difference and I really enjoyed my golf and the hospitality,” Hend, who has made Flordia his home for the past 10 years, told the Post.

        The fifth edition of this growingly popular amateur event will be long remembered for a happy coincidence of an Australian pro and a Scottish amateur raising its profile and polishing its image.
        Hend was the first pro to wear Moir’s Fenix brand, which indeed sponsored the Australian in Siem Reap this year. In the end, it turned out to be a win-win for both Hend, who arrived from Russia two days before the event and Moir, whose father is a long time resident of Phnom Penh.
        “I missed last year’s event, [so] I am happy to be here winning this year,” said Moir, who had a word of praise for some of the Cambodian golfers he played with.“I think some of the Cambodian players like Ly Hong are really good. The country needs some time to develop.”

        While three past winners, Tim Orgill, Don Bland and Ly Hong lined up this year, the fourth, Stuart Puzzey could not make it.Despite that disappointment of losing out on the title, Ly Hong had his own rewarding moment when he was declared the winner of Division 1 on the basis of his net 139 ahead of Australia’s Mark Penfold, who also recorded the same total but was relegated to second on the count-back system.

        With a net 142, Rahoul won Division 2 ahead of the 144 posted by Thong Sokhamony, who was Cambodia’s lone entry in the recently held Faldo Series event at the same venue.
        Ros Sarin (net 141) came out on top in Division 3 ahead of Chua Meng Ann (144).

        Karen Buenaventura of the Philippines was too good for her only rival for the women’s title, Rosemarie Gale of Australia. The Filipino posted an impressive two-round net of 143 to Gale’s 182.

        “This year we set three new records,” said AGR Director of Golf David Baron.
        “We had the largest number of entries ever – well over 100. We had the largest number of nationalities represented at 14 and we had the largest number of repeat guests.”

        1 July 2013: Watcharasit Trachuentong from Thailand claimed a narrow victory in the second Faldo Series Cambodia Championship at Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap.  The 17-year-old was one of two Thais to qualify for the Asia Grand Final in China along with winners from Hong Kong and Malaysia.


        Trachuentong (Boys’ Under-21) fired rounds of 72 and 73 on the Faldo Design course in Siem Reap to finish tied on one over par with overnight-leader Aaerishna Shahsthy (Boys’ Under-16) of Malaysia.  As age-group winners, both players will join Sir Nick Faldo for the eighth Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen but it was the Thai teenager who claimed the overall trophy thanks to a stronger final round.

        The girls’ division also went to a count-back with 16-year-old Andrea Au from Hong Kong edging Thailand’s Onkanok Soisuwan, 12, to the win.  However both girls also qualify for the World Amateur Golf Ranking event at Mission Hills next March.
        The second Faldo Series Cambodia Championship featured a range of nationalities from Cambodian to Indonesian to five players from New Zealand.  In a bid to grow golf in the local community, the tournament also involved school-children from Siem Reap who enjoyed a free coaching clinic before watching the competitors in action. 

        Leading final scores: Boys’ Under-21: 145 – Watcharasit Trachuentong (THA) 72-73; 146 – Poovadol Leeartharn (THA) 73-73.  Boys’ Under-16: 145 – Aaerishna Shahsthy (MAL) 71-74; 147 – Thanaphum Khanchitworakun (THA) 75-72.  Girls’ Under-21: 151 – Andrea Au (HKG) 75-76, Onkanok Soisuwan (THA) 75-76; 165 – Pinkaew Trachuentong (THA) 85-80.


        10 May 2013: Sir Nick Faldo has announced that his global golf development programme will return to Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap in 2013.  Golfers from across the region will compete for a spot in the Asia Grand Final when the second Faldo Series Cambodia Championship tees off on June 29-30.  
        “We hope to build on the success of our inaugural event at Angkor Golf Resort and benefit more young golfers from Cambodia and neighbouring countries,” said Faldo, who designed the course in Siem Reap and is currently overseeing another 36-hole project in the capital Phnom Penh.  “Holic and his team put on a great event in 2012 that combined top-class tournament experience for talented golfers with unique grass-roots activities for kids from the local community.”

        Kim Dong-Hyun of South Korea, winner of the 2012 Faldo Series Cambodia Championship, in action during the Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in China in March 2013.

        “We enjoy our close relationship with Sir Nick and we share his passion for growing the game,” added Holic Tandijono, Executive Director of Angkor Golf Resort.  “Once again we welcome the region’s top players to the historic town of Siem Reap.  We will also continue to develop our grass-roots programme with local schools.”

        International and local golfers alike will challenge for the 2013 Cambodia Championship, won last year by 17-year-old Kim Dong-Hyun from South Korea.  Boys and girls aged 12 to 21 will compete over 36 holes on the award-winning Faldo Design course, an Asian Tour venue located close to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples.
        With the field divided into age-groups – two for boys and two for girls – the four winners will qualify for the eighth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.  This World Amateur Golf Ranking event will be hosted by the six-time Major Champion at Mission Hills Golf Club in China next March.

        Established in 1996, 40 Faldo Series tournaments now take place in 30 countries worldwide with more than 7,000 golfers participating each year.  Past winners include Major Champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.

        In September 2013, Faldo will begin taking students at a full-time residential academy for education and golf development in America.  The first ever Faldo Series Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona is also home to the Faldo Series USA and marks the next significant step in the programme’s history.

        The 2013/2014 Faldo Series Asia schedule features a record 19 tournaments in 15 countries, including four in mainland China, two in India and others in The Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand.

        The Faldo Series Asia is supported by The R&A, ISPS Handa and Mission Hills.  It is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation.Golfers born in 1992 or later wishing to enter the second Faldo Series Cambodia Championship on June 29-30 can email info@angkor-golf.com or visit www.angkor-golf.com. 

        For more information on the Faldo Series visit www.nickfaldo.com.  You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries  and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.

        For media enquiries, please contact Tom Phillips on +852 2819 3364 (Hong Kong) or email tphillips@nickfaldo.com.