Major boost for juniors

THERE is much to look forward to for Yayasan Kecemerlangan Sukan Malaysia (SportExcel) this year, following their inaugural US Kids Golf Malaysia Tour 2023, presented by Mazda. The golf arm of the organisation is set to realise major growth in 2024 as they intensify their efforts to develop the grassroots of the sport. Executive director Sivanandan Chinnadurai told TeeUp this week that their US Kids Golf Malaysia Tour will multiply threefold in size this season and added that they will also host the international championship of the event, drawing a field from around the globe. “We’re excited about this year’s schedule, and with good reason,” Siva said. “For starters, we will see the US Kids Golf Malaysia Tour take on a zonal dimension, as opposed to having just six legs in the inaugural championships last year. “What this means is that we will stage 18 tournaments in all – six in Penang, whereas last year we had two there. “And the same will apply to Klang Valley, where six more will be held, and a further six events will see Sabah and Sarawak become part of the scope.

“Whichever way you look at it, this is big news for junior golf in this country and for our tour, which we aim to make better.” Speaking with enthusiasm and confidence, Siva said: “The other important piece of good news for us is that from March 5 to 7, Glenamire Golf and Country Club in Shah Alam will play host to the US Kids Golf International Championship Malaysia. “This is an event that is expected to have participation from players from around the world. And while it might be too early to confirm who exactly will be here, we anticipate that players from New Zealand, Australia, India, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe will travel for the championship,” added Siva, a veteran of the local game. “The practice round for the International Championship Malaysia is set for March 4. The players will also look forward to the three-day tournament because it will add spice in that it will have ranking points on offer. This tournament will take on an elevated status by being recognised by the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) system,” said Siva. “An event that counts towards the WAGR rankings always means more to the players, and we expect some stiff competition at Glenmarie,” he added. Siva noted that the culmination of the schedule will be the US Kids Golf World Championships in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the United States, in July. Prior to that, the Malaysian Tour will start in earnest in May and run through November. “Looking back, we had a successful and satisfying calendar of events last year. “We learned a few things along the way and are delighted that the children enjoyed it, as did their parents, guardians, coaches, families and friends.” After the first two legs of two events each at Penang Golf Club and Kelab Golf Negara Subang, A’Famosa Golf Resort in Alor Gajah, Melaka closed out 2023. More than 100 juniors in the 14 age groups (both boys and girls) fought for supremacy over the two days. “It was a good way to end the season, given all the rivalries and competitiveness on display that was matched by some quality golf,” said Siva. “We are also sincerely grateful to Bermaz Motor Trading, the distributors and retailers of new and pre-owned Mazda vehicles and providers of after-sales services and spare parts in Malaysia, for their generous support in making the local tour such a success,” said Siva.

Courtesy from – The Star