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Golfers swing off the fairway

The sweltering 37-plus degree heat and side effects of complimentary booze were not enough to deter an international group of golfers from participating in Siem Reap’s second annual FCC Nation’s Cup, held at Angkor Golf Resort on May 8 and 9.

The proceeds of the social tournament, just over US$450, were donated to the Indochina Starfish Foundation, which runs a charity football program and educates Cambodian children.

This year’s tournament, which used the Stableford scoring system, pitted six teams against each other in two rounds of 18-hole golf played over the weekend.

As the 24 players took to the carts on day two, the four-man teams went into the second round of golf with New Zealand leading with a score of 127.

Following by 19 points was the UK/Singapore/Malaysia team, with 108. Going into Sunday’s second round of golf, the other four teams’ scores were: USA, 101; New Azadia (New Zealand and Canada), 98; Thailand, 93; and France, 86.

The second round saw teams trailing in points step-up their game, with half of the groups scoring higher on this round than the last – noticeably Thailand, which made a 40-point jump from Saturday’s score. Still, as players departed the course for the clubhouse, New Zealand held hegemony, winning the tournament. Team USA took second place, scoring one more point than the UK/Singapore/Malaysia team, which took third.

But, with the heat and complimentary alcohol, a social atmosphere was maintained throughout.

Commenting on the victory, New Zealand’s Kevin Treloar, dubbed the tournament’s best player for launching the Kiwis’ into the lead with his personal score of 43 points, simply said, “It’s too bloody hot.”

“What’s our agenda here?” asked Asian Senior Tour events manager Chuan Campbell, Singapore representative in the UK/Singapore/Malaysia team, who made his first visit to Siem Reap to play in the tournament. “The fundamental thing is good golfers … and even bad golfers, going out to drink beer and have fun,” he explained.

Chuan also won the charity shoot-off, where he drove the ball across water and fairway to land within just a few feet of the pin at hole 19.

UK/Singapore/Malaysia made a team effort to win the shoot-off so the $1000 cash prize could be added to the proceeds already raised on behalf of the Indochina Starfish Foundation.

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