By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, May 22: About 60 foreign golfers from 16 countries have confirmed coming for the 117th Malaysian Amateur Open Golf Championship 2019.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said more entries were expected for the tournament that would be held at the Sarawak Golf Club (KGS) here on June 20-23.
The Malaysian Amateur Open is among the oldest golf tournaments in the region, and KGS would have the privilege to host the event for the second time since its 113th edition in 2015.
“We are expecting the number of participants to continue to increase, as other countries have confirmed their participation but yet to send in their players’ list. The closing date for entries is about two weeks’ time,” Abdul Karim told a press conference to announce the tournament at Baitulmakmur Complex here today.
Abdul Karim said the tournament, which offered the men’s and women’s categories, would have the male competitors playing at KGS’ Matang and Santubong courses, while the female participants would compete at the Siol and Demak courses.
Both of KGS’s 36 holes courses would be used for the four-day tournament, he added.
On the programmes, Abdul Karim said the handing-over ceremony for the championship trophies to Sarawak Golf Association by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg would take place at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia on June 14.
A welcoming dinner and official opening ceremony of the tourney would be on June 19, with Abang Johari expected to attend.
The official practice rounds for the participants would be on June 18-19.
The tournament is scheduled to take place on June 20-23, followed by the prize giving and closing ceremony on the final day.
Abdul Karim announced that all par 3 holes would have `hole-in-one’ prizes, namely Rolex watches at Hole 3 (Matang), Hole 17 (Santubong), Hole 6 (Siol) and Hole 17 (Demak). The golfers would also win an Iron golf set for their feat.
“The main reason to bring this prestigious golf event to Sarawak is to promote the state as a popular golfing destination for overseas golfers, especially during their winter,” he said.
He added that the Sarawak Golf Association would conduct a get-together session between the Sarawak Tourism Board and all participating foreign golf managers and team leaders for a quick introduction on Sarawak as a golfing tourism destination on June 19.
“We want to have a two-way discussion on how Sarawak can cater to their golfing needs.
“My ministry together with Sarawak Golf Association will initiate this positive move towards bringing more overseas golfers, especially from South Korea, China and Middle East countries, to enjoy the golfing experiences and Sarawak’s hospitality.
“As this goes along, we foresee more foreign golfers coming to Sarawak to spend their holidays,” he said. — DayakDaily