Sold out in record time the 11th edition of the famous Angkor Amateur Open lived up to all the pre-event anticipation. With players from all around the region and beyond competing for the prestigious trophy, the Siem Reap venue saw almost half the field consists of players from Singapore and Australia in addition to fourteen players representing their home Country of Cambodia.
The local players in the filed would consist of three current National Team players hoping to make a strong impression, including 2017 winner Seng Vanseiha, Poeu Pichmeta, IM Reahul and last year’s winner Ly Hong.
The course set-up would prove to show a true test for the 118 competitors, with the rough left a little longer than normal there was a big emphasis on hitting the pristine fairways around the Faldo Design Championship lay out, add in the testing (unusual) windy conditions it was to be a ‘survival of the fittest’.
Calle Lund (Sweden), based in Kuala Lumpur, in recent years a regular to the event would lead the way after round one with an impressive level par 72. Amish Jaitha (India) opened up the event with an impressive 73 (level par), one shot behind tied with Vanseiha who also opened with a solid 73 (+1). The top three separated themselves from the field with Im Reahul (national team player) the next closest challenger a further five shots behind on +6 (78).
Round two would prove to provide some testing playing conditions in the back-9 with strong winds blowing across the golf course. Using their past experiences the battle for the Trophy would be decided on the final hole.
With a double bogey on the 10th Lund would find it difficult to keep in touch. 2017 champions Seiha would be pushed all the way but birdies on 10 and 14 saw him maintain a narrow lead over Amish who made a birdies of his own on 11 and 13. After a bogey on 17 it was the local (Seiha) who would take a one-shot lead going to the 36th holes over Amish.
Amish (last year’s runner-up) made an impressive par on the final hole while Seihas second shot found the green side bunker, at one point his ball was only a few yards from the pin but luck was not on his side as the ball caught the slope and ended it an awkward position in the sand that would proceed to cost him a double bogey six to lose by one. Amish was rewarded by taking driver on the final tee shot, setting up a short approach to the narrow front pin position leaving a simple two-putt to claim victory. Amish is now only the second multiple winner of the AAO with his maiden win coming in 2014.
“From the start of round two I was behind, having to catch Calle then Seiha but I was patient and eventually got passed them on the 18th to secure the win. I would like to thank the Pro (Alan Martin) at Angkor who helped me with some quick tips on Saturday after my round and my Pro (Jon Garrett) in Hanoi who helped me prior to the event with my short-game.
I would like to dedicate this victory to my four-year-old son and I look forward to returning next year to defend the title” Amish Jaitha – 2019 AAO Champion.
“We’re delighted with the response and feedback from all of the participants. Over the years the event has brought so many golfers together from around the world and it’s always nice to see these friendships strengthen each year through the platform of golf. I would like to congratulate all of the prize winners and take this opportunity to thank all of our partners and sponsors for their continued support.” David Baron, Director of Golf
With the increasing popularity and demand for the two flagship events at Angkor Golf Resort, they have launched a new International Team Championship for late October 2019. Full further details check out their website.