Kuala Lumpur, February 28: Four talented juniors today received a tremendous boost to their budding golfing career as they received the coveted playing slots at the US$1 Million Bandar Malaysia Open 2020 next week.
The quartet of Nateshvar A. Ganesh, Rizq Adam Rohizam, Nor Harith Nor Hadi, and Hariz Hezri will be among the 40 Malaysians teeing up at the championship at Kota Permai Golf & Country Club from March 5-8. For all of them, it will be their first time playing in a world-class, professional event.
Fresh from winning the amateur title at the Zurich PGAM Junior Invitational held at Kota Permai yesterday after an opening round of six-under-par 66, Nateshvar would carry that warm feeling to the course next week.
“I didn’t expect to qualify for the Bandar Malaysia Open. It surely feels great to have the chance to play at our National Open,” said the 15-year-old Melaka lad. “I will keep training hard this few days, especially on my short game to prepare for the championship. I will try to make the weekend cut.”
For another young prospect, Rizq Adam, who only last week won the Faldo Series at Impian Golf & Country Club, he would be playing on a familiar ground having been a member of Kota Permai for the past four years, although he did not think that would be of any advantage.
“I’ve not played here that often, I’m kind of familiar with the course. It’s quite long and I don’t hit that far but I think it should be ok as my putting suits these slick greens,” said the 15-year-old who is a Tiger Woods fan. “I’m honoured to play in the Bandar Malaysia Open and it would be an interesting week, hopefully I will make the cut.”
For Johorean Nor Harith Nor Hadi, 17, it was a dream come true to qualify for the Bandar Malaysia Open. For his maiden outing playing in a professional field, he hoped to do well but will not put any target.
Fifteen-year-old Hariz Hezri, who hails from Kedah, was simply grateful for the opportunity to play his first professional championship. He felt that the course suit his game but conceded that he had to put in a lot more practice on his putting these few days to play well.
“We are delighted to be able to offer playing opportunities to these talented juniors. They are the future of the game in our country, with hopefully a long and fruitful golfing career ahead, not only as amateurs but eventually as professionals,” said Arep Kulal, Chief Executive Officer of Winning Matters, the event promoter.
“We believe the experience that they will gain from being in the field, teeing up against top players from the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO), will put them in good stead for their future career development,” he added.
Photo caption: (From left) Hariz Hezri, Rizq Adam Rohizam, Arep Kulal, CEO of Winning Matters, Nor Harith Nor Hadi, and Nateshvar A. Ganesh.