Afif Razif (Photo: MGA)
Story by MGA/Edited by Patrick Ho, Golf Digest Malaysia
The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) has released the names of players selected to participate in the Asia Pacific Amateur Golf Team Championship for the Nomura Cup 2017 staged at the Sungai Long Golf & Country Club, from November 9-12, 2017.
The teams were determined by using the Order of Merit (OOM), World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as well as past performances.
The OOM is based on stroke average accumulated over 30 junior and amateur, local and international events held in 2017.
Seniors Mohamad Afif Razif and Chan Tuck Soon and juniors Muhammad Afif Fathi and Rhaasrikanesh Kanavathi were selected to represent Malaysia in this prestigious Championship comprising members of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation.
Australia, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore are among the golf powerhouses that have confirmed taking part in the championship including defending champions, Japan.
In 2015, Malaysia finished 10th out of the 27 teams and were represented by Chan Tuck Soon, Ervin Chang, Amir Nazrin and Daeng Abdul Rahman.
Out of the 2015 four-member team, only Chanreturns for the 2017 Nomura Cup, while Ervin Chang is now in college in the USA.
Amir Nazrin and Daeng Abdul Rahman have turned pro this year.
Chan is a regular in the amateur circuit, playing in the Australia Amateur Open, Taiwan Amateur Open, Indonesia Olimpik Jabar Amateur Open, as well as this year’s SEA Games.
His best finish in 2017 was third place in the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open.
Mohamad Afif Razif is also a regular fixture in the amateur circuit.
He represented Malaysia in the World University Games in Taiwan where he finished 7th with scores of 66, 72, 72.
Rhaasrikanesh meanwhile has few titles under his belt, the Malaysian Amateur Closed and the Kedah Amateur Open.
He also played in the Lion City Cup in Indonesia where he finished 4th with scores of 72, 70, 75 and 67.
Muhammad Afif Fathi was selected as the fourth and final player due to his consistent performances.
He played regularly in the pro circuit as well as the amateur circuit and his best finish this year was a third placing in the Perak Amateur Open.
“I really like our mix of players and we are looking forward to show to the golfing fraternity how far our players have gone in terms of their maturity and skills,” said Senator Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor, Chairman of the National Team Sub-Committee.
“Our players are young compared to their contemporaries in the Asia Pacific region, the youngest, Raasrikanesh is only 17 and this would be his first debut in the Nomura Cup,” added Tan Sri Anwar. “However, gauging by their performances this year with strong desires to bring honour to the country, I believe our young players will live up to the Association’s and country’s expectations.”
Centralized training camps are held frequently in Sungai Long Golf &Country Club, the venue of the Championship to make sure that our players familiarize themselves with the Golden Bear’s course. They also competed in the international tournaments including the recent Asia Pacific Amateur Championship held at Wellington, New Zealand.
This year, Malaysia hosted two Championships – the SEA Games back in August at The Mines Resort & Golf Club and the Nomura Cup.
After a lapse of 24 years, the Nomura Cup now returns to Kuala Lumpur, which promises to be a scintillating event to watch, as the top male amateurs from the Asia Pacific will congregate this November to vie for the Challenge Trophy.