Last Sunday (April 17th) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, an 18-year-old Italian won the 50th edition of the Malaysian Open golf tournament (officially it was the “Maybank Malaysian Open”, MMO. Maybank is Malaysia’s largest bank). Matteo Manassero brought home a tidy sum of US$416,660 as the champion against a field of three current Major winners. The victory placed him in the the top 35 in the world rankings.
Good for the young fella; well done!
But that is not my story this time, though. My story is about the plight of Malaysian golf. Again, no local golfers got any nearer to being the champion of the home Open. Out of 22 Malaysians who entered the field, only one — Danny Chia — made the cut. He eventually finished T-41 (with four other players).
No wonder then that the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib, urged Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) to develop home grown (junior) talents so that one day soon a Malaysian would be the one to hold aloft the trophy as a champion.
Perhaps the prime minister, himself an avid golfer (wonder what his handicap is), would have felt happier to hand over the trophy to a fellow Malaysian. Not to mention that Malaysians would love to see that happen,too. Well, fifty years, 300 golf courses, and we can’t produce a champion?
Golf is not easy, everybody knows that; nothing ever is. But do something about it. Big corporations should chip in to support the effort to breed Malaysian golfers who can swing with the rest of the best in the world, win a few tournaments here and there. If not in the PGA circuit, then at least in Asia and Europe.