The eagerly awaited ninth edition of the Angkor Amateur Open Golf Championship hits the fairways of the award-winning Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap on Saturday, with three-time winner Ly Hong of Cambodia (pictured, supplied) defending his title in a strong line-up of established international players.
A full field of 112 golfers, representing 14 countries, will take to the risk-for-reward Nick Faldo-designed course in a two-round competition that offers up to 20 prizes in four divisions.
The 36-hole tournament is one of the Kingdom’s most popular and prestigious sporting events, famed for it’s unique blend of competitive golf and local hospitality. Several local golfers and national players are among the early favourites highlighting the progress of golf in the country.
Last year’s runners-up Seng Van Seyha and Im Rahul return to stake their claim on the silverware. After one year in the United States, Sokhamony Thong and Peou Pich Meta, two of Cambodia’s brightest young talents, are on course for a title challenge.
India’s Amish Jaitha, a former starter on the Asian Tour and the 2014 champion, also comes strongly into the reckoning.
For the fourth year running the event has been fully subscribed. It will be run in four divisions, offering amateurs of varying handicaps and skills a fair go in their chosen categories.
After its popular introduction in 2015, there will again be a senior division for players who are aged 55 and over.
Players with a handicap between 0-12 will figure in Division 1, while the second division is for players in the handicap range of 13-28. The women’s event will run concurrently.
The official practice round on Friday sets the tone for two competitive rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
A welcome dinner, hosted by event lead sponsors Heineken, awaits the participants on Saturday evening at the LeMeridien Angkor Resort.
“This year’s entries closed in record time, which I think highlights the popularity of the event and destination,” said Angkor Golf Resort’s Director of Golf David Baron.
“I think over the years we have established the correct combination of ensuring that players experience a professionally organised tournament with the right mix of Cambodian hospitality.”
A host of local and international sponsors have teamed up with the Siem Reap course in providing the participants with an array of prizes worth in excess of $20,000.
On-course prizes will be up for grabs from key partners such as HGB Group, Mazda, T Galleria and Heineken. Anyone scoring a hole in one on the 17th will drive away in a brand new Mazda MX-5 worth over $40,000.
After completion of the final round, players can take part in a charity challenge in association with the award-winning Phum Baitang Resort.
All proceeds will be presented to the Treak Community Center. Treak provides schooling to under privileged children in the nearby by Treak village.