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Philippines outshine Malaysia in junior golf meet


PETALING JAYA: The big prizes eluded Malaysia but the national golfers have much to be proud of as they captured three titles in the fifth 100Plus Malaysian Junior Open at Nexus Golf Resort Karambunai in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.

Last year, Kelly Tan and Gavin Kyle Green combined to help Malaysian win the team event for the first time ever.

Gavin and Kelly also captured the boys’ and girls’ Under-16 titles as well as the overall crowns.

Then, Malaysia also captured the boys’ Under-18, and Under-14 gold medals through Abel Tam and Low Khai Jei while Joanne Lagan won the girls’ Under-18 title. Suchaya Tangkamolpraset prevented a clean sweep when she won the girls’ Under-14 event.

This year, the Philippines proved too strong in the team event as Miguel Luis Tabuena and Sarah Ababa captured the title as well as the boys’ and girls’ overall and Under-16 crowns. Their compatriot, Alexes Nallos, also won the boys’ Under-18 title. There was some consolation for Kelly as she dominated the girls’ Under-18 category, finishing with a one-under-71 for a three-day score of 10-over 226.

In distant second was Taiwan’s Shun Wei-wang, who carded 268 while another Malaysian Sheryn Yong, was third with a score of 284.

“I’m a little disappointed not to have done better, but at least I have one title in the bag. I hope to make up for my poor performances here by doing well in the LPGA Malaysia next month,” said Kelly, who earned a slot in the prestigious event when she finished second in the qualifiers.

“The 100Plus Malaysian Open will also be special to me as this is where I first made my name. I hope to return stronger next year.”

Malaysia also ruled the boys’ and girls’ Under-14 categories’ by taking five of the top six places.

In the boys’ Under-14, Paul San upstaged defending champion Low Khai Jen and Albright Chong Ming Soon to take first place.

Paul finished with an even 72 yesterday for a three-day total of four-over 220, two strokes better than Khai Jen. Albright was a further seven shots back.

Loy Hee Ying won the girls’ Under-14 title with a score of 243 while Hong Kong’s Kitty Tan (245) was second and Malaysia’s Kimberly Nelson third (267).

Jeremiah Kim, the first Malaysian to win the Singapore Amateur Open, was runner-up to Tabuena in both the overall and Under-16 categories.

“I had high hopes but Miguel was too good. Nonetheless, I’m delighted to have finished second in the overall category. Maybe I will do better next time,” said Jeremiah.

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