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Ly Hong lands Liberty Cup

Cambodia’s leading amateur golfer Ly Hong won the second edition of the winner-takes-all 2014 Liberty Cup after a two-round 78 gross score in the Stableford tournament which concluded at the Sir Nick Faldo-
designed Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap yesterday.

The left-handed Ly Hong, who had represented Cambodia in both the 2011 SEA Games and the 2010 Asian Games, shot a one-over-par 73 to lead the field in the first round which was played at the Phokeethra Country Club on Monday.

Cambodia’s Ly Hong clinched the 2014 Liberty Cup in Siem reap
Cambodia’s Ly Hong clinched the 2014 Liberty Cup in Siem reap yesterday. Photo Supplied

He handily kept the lead by firing an identical score at the AGR for a tally of 78 points under the fixed Stableford point system.

The long-driving Ly Hong placed great importance on his short game and putting.

“I’m very happy to have participated in Liberty Cup for the second year in a row. I really enjoyed myself and have built good relationship with other participants,” the 42 year old told the Post.

“Second shots are very important, especially [at the] Angkor Golf Resort, and they turned out well for me.”

The Kingdom’s cup of joy overflowed after a similarly sounding Lee Hong emerged as the men’s nett winner, even as the 2013 champion Alex Yap of Malaysia could only finish third.

As many as 14 local golfers were in a field of 88 drawn from Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The event was jointly organised by Malaysia’s Liberty Golf Services and Cambodia-based PSD travel.

The 2013 Carlsberg Golf Classic champion Roszali Baharuddin of Malaysia finished tied for 11th.

“It’s my first time to Cambodia and it’s an amazing country. My deepest gratitude to Carlsberg Malaysia for sponsoring me to participate in this great event,” he told the Post.

Meanwhile, Lillian Wong of Malaysia became the first women’s champion with a two-round score of 69 in a field that included eight of her compatriots.

The organisers invited BFT, a Siem Reap-based children’s charity organisation for a charity drive – a hole-in-one competition. While the kids enjoyed the golfing bit, they also entertained the tournament participants to a grand dance performance.

The key partners to the Liberty Cup were Transview Golf, Titoni, Carlsberg, RHB Bank, Angkor Golf Resort, Phokeethra Country Club, Casillero del Diablo and Vittel.

Kinnear sets a hot pace
Paul Kinnear fired a stunning 66 to take a first-round lead in the eighth Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen yesterday.

The 20-year-old from England is three shots ahead of American Zachary Bauchou, who went round in three-under-par despite missing the practice day and never having stepped on the course prior to the competition.

Kinnear carded four birdies and two eagles in a superb six-under-par round on the Sir Nick Faldo-designed course. The England squad member from Lancashire is bidding to become the first European winner of a Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.

Local boy Bai Zheng-Kai from Guangdong is leading the Boys’ U16 division and 14 Faldo Series competitors who also qualify to win the Mission Hills Trophy. This special category is awarded to the highest-placed Chinese golfer and was won in its inaugural year by Guangzhou’s Guan Tianlang.

Guan, who was 14 years old at the time, went on to finish as the low amateur in the 2013 US Masters Tournament after spending time with three-time Masters winner Faldo at Mission Hills last March.

In the girls’ division, Ridhima Dilawari leads a strong chasing pack by one shot after an opening round of 71. The 15-year-old from Delhi is hoping to become the third Indian after two-time winner Rashid Khan (2007 and 2009) and Abhijit Chahda in 2010 to win the Faldo Series Asia title.

With the field at Mission Hills divided into five age-categories, three boys and two girls will each receive a trophy and an exemption into the 18th Faldo Series Grand Final later this year. The leading boy and girl will also be invited to play in a professional Tour event and the title of Faldo Series Asia champion will go to the player with the lowest gross score, regardless of age or gender.

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