MGA keen on an Olympic medal

Na­tional gov­ern­ing body up­dates ref­er­ees on new rules and calls on min­istry to help out with a na­tional coach

The Star Malaysia - - Tee Up - Straight drive shauno@thes­tar.com.my Shaun Orange

THE Malaysian Golf As­so­ci­a­tion (MGA) have said they plan to win a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and do well at next year’s South-East Asian (SEA) Games with a sim­i­lar goal.

They also urged the Sports Min­istry to lend their sup­port to golf for the de­vel­op­ment of the game, and are up­dat­ing dat­ing their ref­er­ees and the pub­lic at large ono the new rules that will come into ef­fect at t the be­gin­ning of Jan­uary.

In a wide-rang­ing in­ter­view with Te TeeUp, MGA vice-pres­i­dent and Rules sub­com­mit­tee chair­man C.C. Boo said the e way things stand at the mo­ment Gavin Gre een and young Ervin Chang are the count try’s best hopes of ma­jor suc­cess on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

“There has been much dis­cus­sion in n re­cent weeks and months by our spor rts min­istry and the gen­eral pub­lic on Malaysia’s 2020 Olympic plans to secu ure a first-ever gold medal. Al­though golf w was never in the podium pro­gramme, we have faith in our young and tal­ented golfer rs such as Gavin, who could be the one to sec ure our elu­sive and first Olympic gold me edal in 2020.

“The way we see it, the player (Gav in) who topped the Asian Tour’s Or­der of f Merit last sea­son is the one head­ing in the r right di­rec­tion lead­ing to the 2020 Olympic cs.

“On the am­a­teur scene, next year’s SEA Games in the Philip­pines will be an­oth her tar­get for gold. We are pretty sure our r US-based golfers – Ervin, Loy Hee Yin g, Ash­ley Lau and Natasha An­drea Oon – will spear­head Malaysia’s golf team to­war rds our first gold medal in the re­gional Game s. “We are im­pressed with Ervin’s pro ogress and his cur­rent good form, fin­ish­ing 7 7th at the Asia-Pa­cific Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onsh hips in Sin­ga­pore last week, af­ter win­ning a c cou­ple of lo­cal tour­na­ments.

“His per­for­mance in Sin­ga­pore clea arly showed that Malaysian golfers can po ose a chal­lenge to golf ’s Asian pow­er­house play­ers from Ja­pan, China, Korea, Tha ai­land and the Philip­pines.

“Ervin is Malaysia’s next big hope af­tera Gavin to raise our Gemi­lang flag at m ma­jor events. “We salute their par­ents, fami ilies, friends and coaches for the sac­ri­fices in nur­tur­ing, guid­ing and shap­ing them into who they are to­day and we will con­tin nue to sup­port their ef­forts to bring about gr reater suc­cess for these play­ers.”

Boo added: “We are hope­ful that ou ur

Sports Min­istry and the Na­tional Sports Coun­cil will pay greater at­ten­tion to golf and pro­vide fund­ing to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of the game.

“It is my big hope that the min­istry will con­sider fund­ing a na­tional coach (lo­cal or for­eign) for the MGA to pro­vide ad­vanced coach­ing and guid­ance for our na­tional squads.”

With ref­er­ence to the Royal & An­cient (R&A) re­leas­ing the fi­nal Rules of Golf 2019, both in print and dig­i­tal for­mats, in early Septem­ber, Boo said that the MGA’s Rules sub-com­mit­tee “wasted no time or­gan­is­ing a ref­er­ees’ get-to­gether and new rules brief­ing.

This was to up­date our reg­is­tered ref­er­ees and en­sure they are kept abreast of the lat­est rules and that they be “Rules Ready” come Jan­uary 2019.”

He added that 71 MGA-reg­is­tered ref­er­ees drawn from around Malaysia, in­clud­ing Sabah and Sarawak, at­tended a re­cent sem­i­nar con­ducted by five in­struc­tors. They were headed by Boo him­self and in­cluded

Deb­o­rah Wong,

Har­ban Singh,

Yeoh Chin Nam and Mohd Khairi.

“The five us were up­dated on the new rules at a sem­i­nar con­ducted by the R&A at the end of April,” he said.

Ad­dress­ing the lo­cal brief­ing, Boo im­plored the ref­er­ees to get to grasps with the new rules in the next two and a half months be­fore they take ef­fect.

Wong took the class through the ma­jor changes of the rules which are sim­pli­fied with ex­pla­na­tions and ra­tio­nale of main­tain­ing the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of play­ing the course as you find it and play­ing the ball as it lies. “There was a lot of in­ter­est gen­er­ated with ques­tions from par­tic­i­pants,” said Boo.

The class was taken for an on-course demon­stra­tion con­ducted by Yeoh, Har­bans and Khairi with specifics re­lated to the tee­ing area, bunkers, putting greens, penalty ar­eas and gen­eral l ar­eas. “The ref­er­ees were w shown how to de­ter­mine relief ar­eas, ref­er­ence r points and lines when tak­ing relief r in ab­nor­mal course con­di­tions, em­bed­ded-ball e strokes, and dis­tances back on o the line of relief.”

“The in­struc­tors also up­dated the ref­er­ees on o the Rules of Am­a­teur Sta­tus, the lat­est MGA M stand­ing or­ders of pro­ce­dure (SOP) as well w as a few case stud­ies of good rul­ing re­ports.” r

MGA pres­i­dent Tan Sri Mohd An­war Mohd M Nor thanked the par­tic­i­pants for turn­ing t up to learn more about the new rules r and urged them to keep up their good work. w

Boo said they would be con­duct­ing more r rules sem­i­nars and pre­sen­ta­tions t through­out the coun­try for golfers in g gen­eral, golf club com­mit­tees and staff, the m me­dia and event or­gan­is­ers.

The MGA and the R&A will host a Level 2 R Rules sem­i­nar at KPGA on Nov 24 and 25, L Level 1 sem­i­nars for the gen­eral pub­lic at K KPGA on Nov 23 and Kota Per­mai Golf & C Coun­try Club on Dec 1.

Boo added that a pre­sen­ta­tion for the p par­tic­i­pants of the US Kids Golf Tour­na­ment a at Tan­jung Puteri Golf Re­sort in Jo­hor will t take place on Dec 18.

“We also wel­come re­quests from golf c clubs through­out the coun­try to or­gan­ise r rules brief­ings or Level 1 sem­i­nars for club m mem­bers,” he said.

In-form Ervin Chang, with his KL Am­a­teur Open tro­phy (right), is be­ing touted as a po­ten­tial Olympian.

A gen­eral view of the con­struc­tion site of the ath­letes’ vil­lage for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where the MGA hope to make an im­pres­sion.

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