Sunday August 12, 2012
Sabah clean sweep
Sabah claimed all four golds for a Sukma whitewash.
SABAH emerged the big winner at the recent Sukma golf competition by sweeping all the four golds.
Albright Chong and Aretha Pan claimed the individual titles, while their team of Fazley Chua, Solomon, Jordan Mobijohn and Albright won the men’s gold medal and Aretha, Vivienne Chua and Diana Tham clinched the ladies’ gold.
In Aretha’s first appearance in Sukma she shook up the ladies amateur scene as she dethroned defending champion, Kelly Tan, in a playoff. In what turned into a tough duel in the final round,
Aretha delivered the last blow when her ball coolly rolled into the cup on the first playoff hole.
Aretha and Kelly both carded 3-under-par 69s in the last round, which left them at the top of the leaderboard on 6-under-par 210 for the tournament, thus forcing a playoff for the gold medal.
Indeed, they were the only players in the field of 32 to finish below par on all three days.
The Sukma championship was a 54-hole individual and team strokeplay event jointly sanctioned by the Sukma Secretariat and the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA). The tournament featured 11 ladies and 14 men’s teams from 14 states.
“I am happy to have won the gold and help my team win gold on my first appearance here,” said Aretha. “I hope that I will be able to contribute too in the Espirito Santo in September.”
For her part, Kelly said: “I am disappointed not to have being able to capitalise on the greens. It’s certainly a bitter pill to swallow.
“However, I have to get past this and work harder for the Espirito Santo Trophy later this year.
“Congratulations to Aretha for winning the gold.”
Host Pahang settled for second place in the ladies’ team event after registering a 2-over-par 434 total – 7 strokes off the leaders. Pahang was represented by Iman Ahmad Nordin, Sharon Lau and Khaw Wen Huei.
Terengganu represented by Durriyah, Nuralissa and Yong Mei Khuan finished third with a 7-over-par 439.
Albright Chong of Sabah dominated the men’s division, securing a wire-to-wire victory and claim the individual gold, while in the process helped steer their men’s team to the gold as well.
“It feels great to win the individual gold,” said Albright. “To be able to win the team gold as well is extra special.”
He added: “I dedicate this win to my parents and officials from Sabah.”
Sabah won the team gold with a 7-over-par 655 total. Kedah, comprising Wafiyuddin, Irfan, Thaznim and Noor Hakimi, finished second with a 15-over-par 663, while Kuala Lumpur, represented by Choo Teck, Ervin Chang, Wei Chean and Tuck Soon, shot a 19-over-par 667 for third spot.
Abel Tam of Johor finished second in the individual category on 2-under-par 214, followed by Ahmad Zahir of Pahang who carded an even-par 216 total.
MGA president Tan Sri Anwar said of the tournament: “I’m pretty happy with the results of the tournament, especially the ladies.
“The three ladies selected to spearhead Malaysia’s challenge in the Espirito – Aretha, Kelly and Iman finished first, second and third respectively, and that’s just great.
“The players selected for the Eisenhower – Gavin, Arie and Khai Jei did not play in Sukma due to their commitments overseas but they should do just fine in September.”
The Espirito and Eisenhower are part of the World Amateur Team Championships (WATC) organised biennially by the International Golf Federation. Turkey is host this September and October. The WATC championships will also be used as a qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing, China in 2014.