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 Sports

Sabah gunning for hat-trick

141117-back-a
READY FOR SHOWDOWN … George (back row, 6th right), giving the thumbs-up with Sabah SGA Cup officials and golfers after the press conference, yesterday.

14th November, 2017

By UMESH RAJAN

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah are set to bank on homeground advantage as they seek their third consecutive SGA Cup this week at the Sabah Golf and Country Club (SGCC), near here.

The 10-time champions of the Ryder Cup-like tournament will go head-to-head against neighbouring state, Sarawak who on the other hand won the encounter six times previously with the last one dating back to 2014.

A victory during this week’s 17th edition SGA Cup will see Sabah matching their best record of three consecutive titles achievement from 2011 to 2013.

During a press conference at the SGCC on Monday, Sabah Golf Association (SGA) President, Datuk George Bandusena was fairly realistic about Sabah’s chances to bag their third straight title.

“We expect that with the home advantage where most of our players are very familiar with SGCC’s challenging layout, the Sabah team should be in pole position to keep the coveted trophy once again this year.

“We have high hopes in the team this year as the golfers have been preparing for the tournament for quite some time and given that we are playing on home soil this year.

“I believe we could fight well against our Sarawakian counterparts where they will be sending their top golfers for the tournament which tees off from November 14 to 16,” he said.

Sabah’s strong 14-golfers contingent will be led by Team Captain, Ng Loong Fah of SGCC, while assisted by team manager, Peter Tan of Borneo Golf Resort and team coordinator, Maximilian Jr Boigol of SGA.

“This year’s team comprises mostly experienced golfers in the Ryder Cup format while rising star junior golfers, Christopher James and Albright Chong are also included in the team,” said George.

Other state golfers selected into the Sabah team are Chua Poh Guan, Mitchell Steel, Safarrudin Abidin, Chang Vui Khiong, Brandon Lai Chung Weng, Firdaus @ Diddy, Hillary Tan, Jordan Mobijohn, Zariq Encho, Fazley Chua, Casper Loh and Neil Redmond Bainon.

George added that Sarawak too have been preparing their team for this year and will be showcasing some of their well-known top amateur golfers, along with several up and coming junior golfers as well.

The annual SGA Cup, initiated by Sabah has undoubtedly earned respect as it has proven to be the platform when it comes to bonding goodwill among golfers from the two East Malaysian states.

The format of play on Day One is a Foursome match in the morning, followed by the Fourball match in the afternoon session, and the Reverse Play on Day Two and the 12 Singles matches on the final day.

Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan is expected to be present during one of the competition days to lend moral support to the state team.

   
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