Golf putt-in RM38 million to Sabah’s tourism industry
KOTA KINABALU: Golf clubs in Sabah have been encouraged to help the state government promote golfing as a tourism product.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said golf was now one of the significant contributors to Sabah’s booming tourism industry.
“I urge golf clubs to utilise their resources to attract golf enthusiasts from around the world to come to Sabah as we have world-class golf courses.
“We have the most beautiful yet challenging golf courses to offer to golf tourists,” he said at the prize-giving ceremony of the 21st Sabah Golf and Country Club (SGCC) Amateur Open here yesterday, which was also attended by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Peter Pang En Yin.
According to Masidi, golf tourism last year contributed about RM38 million in revenue to the state’s tourism industry.
He was confident the revenue would increase this year, despite the global economic downturn.
Meanwhile, Sabah’s current top junior amateur Nicholas Fung showed his prowess on his home turf, the SGCC course, to emerge as the overall champion of the event.
As the meet’s runaway champion, the national junior player carded a total of 6-over 222 to clinch the top prize and the overall challenge trophy.
He also proved that youth played an important role in any highly-charged amateur open, where he took the lead right from Day One, posting a two-over-74, and stayed on course as the leader after completing his round with a perfect par-72 on the second day.
Nicholas continued his fine form to eventually stark his champion’s claim after a 4-over-76 in his final lap yesterday.
In the women’s section, it was battle between non-Sabahans Joanne Lagan of Miri and national player Kelly Tan of Bandang, Kuala Lumpur for the champion’s trophy.
The final day saw, both players accumulate identical 228 scores, thus forcing them to battle in a final play-off to determine the winner.
In the play-off, both players played similar bogeys, but in her final approach at the 18th hole, Joanne edged Kelly by a stroke (6) to claim her trophy.
It was almost a similar affair on the opening day where both players shared the 2nd spot on the leaderboard after carding identical 5-over-77, but Kelly came in strong on Day Two, firing a 3-over-75 while Joanne returned with an 80.
After an almost disastrous second day, Joanne made amends in her play in the final round to finish with a superb one-under-71 and Kelly came in with a 4-over-76, which saw their 3-day total scores at 228.
Sabah’s junior player Jacqueline Lau came in third with a narrow 229 despite taking the lead after the first round with an identical 76, and maintained her momentum the following day to stay on top with a 77 and a 76 yesterday.
|By : By FRED LEONG|
|New Sabah Times|