KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Sukma golfers will get their final acid test when they tee-off at this weekend’s Sabah Amateur Open Golf Championship at the newly completed and challenging Labuan International Golf Club (LIGC) course.
Only the boys’ team – 2012 Pahang Sukma defending champions – Albright Chong, Solomon Emilio, Fazley Chua and Jordon Mobijohn – are still intact to defend their team and singles (Albright) titles at the Perlis Royal Golf Club (June 1-3).
Coach Ronnie Pan told the New Sabah Times Sports from Labuan yesterday, all the boys and Sabah’s youngest newcomer – Than Soot Yuet – girls’ team – are in the fray for the Sabah Amateur Open.
The other girl golfer is Vivienne Chin who was among the gold medallists (team) in the last Sukma and she is only expected to join the squad on May 23 as she is now studying and training in the United States.
The other new golfer in the girls’ team is Nurul Shafirah Nasir, who is currently studying at the University Utara Malaysia (UUM) in Kedah and is due back next week.
“This will be the best test for the golfers because the LIGC course is said to be the toughest and most challenging in Asia, where the organisers have predicted higher scores from golfers this weekend,” he said.
“Golfers who have played on the course have complained about the tricky and difficult course including the fairways and greens as golfers must acquire full concentration, with good course management and “brain” play to avoid high scores.”
Ronnie pointed out, his charges are presently in Labuan and have played on the course during their practice rounds and they too experienced the toughness and difficulties of the course.
However, he is keeping his fingers crossed when they tee-off today against all odds and hopes the junior golfers can at least try their best to tame the course with their normal game approach.
Even professional coach Duncan Moodie, who is assisting Ronnie with the Sukma golfers admitted that golfers need to play with caution and lots of brain play in order to avoid high scores.
It is indeed a fantastic course, but the challenging and punishing fairways make it very tough for golfers during their approach to the greens, another uphill challenge while putting.