Malcolm Ting and Vinisha Gunaseelan will be playing with the professionals in the 2019 Maybank Championship, thanks to their victories in the overall boys and girls categories respectively of the inaugural Gavin Green-SportExcel Junior Amateur which concluded yesterday at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
The tournament was initiated and organised by Malaysian No 1 Gavin Green and his family, in tandem with SportExcel (Foundation for Malaysian Sporting Excellence) which sponsors junior development in 12 sports and conducts its own junior golf circuit. Gavin, who now plays on the European Tour and was the 2017 Asian Tour No 1, honed his golfing skills on the SportExcel junior circuit in his formative years.
Malcolm carded rounds of 70, 70 and 71 for a two-under-par 211 total at the par-71 East Course, finishing seven shots ahead of Danny Millis and Ruhanraj Vinayagam. Malcolm, who hails from Miri in Sarawak, also claimed the Boys A (15-18) title.
Girls A (15-18) winner Vinisha meanwhile had to fight off a strong challenge from Malcolm’s younger sister, Girls B (13-14) winner Mirabel Ting. Vinisha finished with a total of 221 after rounds of 73, 77 and 71, just one shot ahead of the in-form Mirabel (78, 73, 71).
The other category winners were: Boys B (13-14) – Rizq Adam Rohizam, Boys C (11-12) – Anson Yeo, Girls C (11-12) – Alya Afza Hazari, Boys D (9-10) – Muhammad Adif Haikal, Girls D (9-10) – Bernice Ng Pei Qi, Boys E (8 & below) – Azka Azfar Satful Azhari and Girls E (8 & below) – Deepikaa Ganesan.
More than 210 players took part in the event, which broke new ground for junior golf in Malaysia with its professional level set-up and organisation. Gavin conducted a number of clinics during tournament week and there were also sessions with his personal trainer, Dr Micaiah Meuer.
The whole event had a carnival-like atmosphere with food trucks, lively music and the ever-present Gavin taking the time to sign autographs and mingle with players.
Sanctioned by the Malaysian Golf Association, the Gavin Green-SportExcel Junior Amateur was sponsored by Maybank, TaylorMade, adidas, TPC Kuala Lumpur, MST Golf and Junior Golf Scoreboard.
For more information, log onto www.sportexcel.org.my