• Big field for Angkor Open



        This year’s Angkor Amateur Golf Open is set to get bigger and better than ever before with the August 9-10 event at the Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap almost fully subscribed, well before the entry deadline two weeks from now.

        The expected line-up of 128 players will be a reflection of the event’s growing popularity among international amateur golf adventurers and Siem Reap’s global appeal as an exciting tourism sport destination.
        “With a growing field of international players, it is important that we continue to enhance the event each year, and this year will be no different,” AGR director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.

        Australian professional golfer Scott Hend is set to be the star attraction at the Angkor Amateur Golf Open on August 9-10 at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap. AFP


        “We are delighted to have teamed up with a growing number of prestigious sponsors and partners this year, including our long-term, loyal supporters. “We must express our gratitude to Tiger Beer for once again being the lead sponsor and exclusive beer during the tournament and gala dinner.
        “This is something the competitors very much look forward to,” he added.

        Major golfing brands such as Titleist and Taylormade have shown their support this year along with Fenix Golf and Malaysia’s leading golf retail distributor Transview Golf, adding a number of attractive prizes. Johnnie Walker also makes a return to the Cambodian golf scene by coming forward to support the event.

        The weekend’s star attraction will be the return of the big hitting Australian professional Scott Hend, who finished second on the Asian Tour money list last year.
        After a good run on the Asian and European tour, Hend will once again challenge the risk for reward Faldo course at AGR, sharing some golf time and experience with the competitors.
        Players can challenge the Australian pro on par-3 holes and also benefit from his complimentary golf clinic.

        The event will also be loaded with fun and entertainment for the players. The AGR has teamed up with the immensely talented and popular Phare Cambodian Circus, whose artists will showcase their skills during the weekend.
        On the top of this exciting show, the players will also be treated to some lilting music by one of the Kingdom’s most sought after eight-piece band, CamboJam.
      • Thai student fires record 66 on way to Faldo Series honours

      • Three locals in fray for Faldo Series honours



        Young golfers from six countries will compete for a spot in next year’s Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills in China when the third edition of the Cambodian leg of the Faldo Series Asia tees off this Saturday at the award-winning Sir Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap.
        Split into three different categories this year, the 25 golfers in the fray – 17 boys and eight girls – will vie for five Mission Hills tickets on offer.

        Sir Nick Faldo will offer at least one Cambodian a place in his Series Asia Grand Final next year in China. AFP

        The winner of the Boys U21 group and two qualifiers each from the Boys U16 and Girls sections based on the best 36 hole gross score will be eligible to take part in the ninth Asia Grand Final, which is a world amateur golf ranking event.
        As a special gesture, six-time Major winner Faldo has offered a place in the Grand Final for the best performing Cambodian among the three in contention this year irrespective of their order of finish.
        While Sokhamony Thong and Pich Meta will represent Cambodia in the Boys U21 category, 14-year-old Tevy Sareoun is among the eight contestants in the Girls competition.

        It may be recalled that a similar special offer had been made to Cambodia’s lone competitor Seng Vanseiha in 2012 despite him finishing down the field. But for personal reasons the youngster could not make the trip.
        “We hope to build on the success of the last two years and benefit more young golfers from Cambodia and neighbouring countries,” AGR director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.
        Thailand heads the list of entries with 15. The others in the field are three Cambodians, three South Koreans and one each from Malaysia and the United States. Interestingly, there are also a pair of twins from New Zealand of Cambodian lineage.

        The first round tees off at 9am on Saturday with the final round beginning at 8:30am on Sunday.
        The 2013/2014 Faldo Series Asia schedule features a record 22 tournaments in 18 countries, including four in mainland China, two in India and others in the Philippines, Taiwan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Thailand. Bangladesh, New Zealand and Australia are new additions to the ever growing list of Faldo Series venues.

        The series is supported by The R&A, ISPS Handa and Mission Hills and is endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Federation.
        In keeping with the Faldo Series’ convention of encouraging grassroots development alongside top class competitive experience, the AGR will be organising a clinic for 20 students from the Siem Reap-based charity organisation Build Your Future Today (BFT).
        Founded by a Khmer Rouge survivor, BFT is working to make life better for the locals.
      • Faldo to cast eye on locals



        Six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo will be watching closely the performances of local golfers, particularly teenagers Tevy Saroeun and Thong Sokhamony, who are expected to lead the Cambodian charge in the third edition of the Faldo Series Asia event lined up for Siem Reap’s Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort from July 11 to 13.

        “I take enormous pride in helping the game take-off in non-traditional golfing nations. Seeing golf grow in popularity in Cambodia is tremendously rewarding for everyone involved in the Faldo Series,” said Sir Nick in a communication released to the Post on Monday.
        “I’m greatly encouraged by the progress we have witnessed over the past two years since we launched the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship and I’ll be following closely the performances of the local players.”

        Thong Sokhamony will lead the local challenge in the Faldo Series Cambodia Championship. PHOTO SUPPLIED

        In the girls section, 14-year-old Tevy Saroeun, being talked about as a fast emerging talent, is bound to garner lot of attention while Cambodian hopes among the boys will be pinned on 18-year-old Thong Sokhamony.

        “I have strong hopes that Saroeun or Sokhamony can make the breakthrough for Cambodia this year by qualifying for the Grand Final. It would be a reward for the effort that they have put into their games,” said AGR’s director of golf David Baron. “Supporting junior golf is an underlying goal of ours, which is why we are delighted to continue our partnership with the Faldo Series Asia by once again hosting the event,” he added.

        Players from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand, apart from local players, made up last year’s field. Though players from the Asia-Pacific region are expected to make the bulk of this year’s field, the event organisers are hopeful of an uptake in local participation.
        For the first time, Cambodian juniors will be invited to take part in an unofficial age category so as to help them get valuable competitive experience.
        A grass-roots clinic, which is almost an integral part of a Faldo Series event, affords the local student community the best chance to enjoy an introduction to golf.
      • AGR to host Faldo Series on July 11-14






        Sim You Wei of Malaysia hits a bunker shot during the Cambodian leg of the 2012 Faldo Series at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap. Photo: Sreng Meng Srun

        The different category winners from each leg will gather for the grand finale at Mission Hills Golf Club in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in March next year.
        Amateur golfers aged between 12 and 21 are eligible to play to the Faldo Series event, which has a handicap limit of 28. The last date for entries is July 5.

        Boys and girls born between 1993 and 2002 of any nationality can enter for a fee of $70.
        “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Faldo Series Asia event and host the Cambodian qualifying leg,” Angkor Golf Resort director of golf David Baron told the Post yesterday.
        “Supporting any form of junior golf is an underlying goal of ours. The field will be made up of international junior players from the [Asia-Pacific] region and hopefully we can see an increased number of local participants this year.”

        Baron is a member of the British PGA, who spends much of his spare time conducting free coaching classes for juniors and students in Siem Reap.
        “I have strong hopes that one or both of our leading Cambodian players can make the breakthrough this year and qualify for the grand final,” said Baron. “This would be a timely reward for the effort that they have put into their games.”
        One such player is Sokha Mony, who was a member of the triumphant Cambodia team at the recently held FCC Nations Cup.

        Baron noted that this year, the Angkor Golf Resort would also be inviting Cambodian juniors to take part in an unofficial age category in order for them to gain valuable experience.
        “The grassroots clinic will also continue. This is where we invite several local schools along to enjoy an introduction to golf,” he added.
        For entry details for the Faldo Series in Cambodia, phone 063 767 688 or email info@angkor-golf.com or go to www.angkor-golf.com.
      • 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.