Trailing by three shots overnight behind local challengers Im Reahul and Seng Van Seya, reigning champion Ly Hong produced a flawless second round of 72 to claim the Angkor Amateur Golf Open honours by one shot on Sunday.
In doing so he became the first player to retain the prestigious title in its eight-year history at the award-winning Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap.
The left-handed Ly Hong was two shots behind with nine holes to play. But under those stressful conditions, he showed great competitive courage to complete the back nine in just 34 strokes to claim victory with a gutsy birdie on the final hole.
Hometown hopeful Im Reahul held a one shot lead with one hole remaining but found the water with a rare errant tee shot to make way for Hong to close the gap.Long-hitting Phnom Penh youngster Seng Van Seyha played impressive golf for 36 holes with rounds of 73 and 76 to also miss out by a single stroke.
Local talent Tevy Sareoun continued to show signs of her progress by claiming the ladies title with solid gross scores of 83 and 79, respectively.
“I would like to congratulate Ly Hong on his third victory. His back was against the wall and he showed real character and composure to come through in the closing holes,’’ the AGR’s director of golf David Baron said during the Trophy presentation. “Im Reahul and Seng Van Seyha will certainly feel hard done by, but they can be proud of their performance . . . I’m sure they will have their hands on the title in the near future.
“It can only be good for the game to see new local challengers coming through.’’
Francis Yap won the net first prize in division one, ahead of Kooi Meng and Terence Tam. The best gross in the senior division was claimed by William Houng Lee and the first net by Lee Yoong Leong While Heineken Beer continued its support for the event as lead sponsors, the others chipping in were Puma Golf, MG Cambodia, Celliars D’Assie, Raffles Grand D’Angkor, Park Hyatt, Belmond Le Residence, Anan Tara, Memoire D’Angkor and PSD Travel.