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KUALA LUMPUR: After a scintillating performance by Gavin Green in last year's Malaysian Amateur Open (MAO), the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) is hoping for another stellar performance from its stable of amateurs in the 111th edition on May 23 to 26 at the Royal Pahang Golf Club.
Last year, Gavin ended Malaysia's drought of 15 years after a brilliant performance to win the national amateur open title.
Inaugurated in 1894, the championship survived the colonial era, two World Wars and the heaves and sighs of the nation to be a major golf amateur golf championship that it is today.
The MAO's steady rise in stature was further cemented in 2006 as it was included as an event in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, which ranks the world's top amateur golfers.
Even before gaining this honour, the MAO has always been a favourite for top amateurs in this region.
Former champions include names like Robert Allenby, Stephen Leaney, Jarrod Moseley, Mardan Mamat, Juvic Pagunsan and Shiv Kapur.
These players graduated from the amateur ranks and went on to make a name for themselves on the professional circuit.
"It is MGA's wish that this event will be able to bring the much-needed mileage to the host venue (Royal Pahang Golf Club) being one of the oldest and prestigious sporting events in the world," said MGA president Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor.
This year, the men and women's division will be held separately to accommodate more entries from overseas and Malaysia.
The men's division will be organised by MGA at the Royal Pahang Golf Club while the women's event will be organised at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club by the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association (MALGA) on May 21 to 23.
Malaysia will be represented by 13 players from the elite and back-up squad.
Senior players in the national squad, Abel Tam, Afif, Tuck Soon and Low Khai Jei will carry the nation's hope for a repeat performance after Gavin's win last year.