Unlike previous years, I had really set out to watch the 50-th edition of the Malaysian Open Golf champisonship. The 2 days of minggling through the crowds (and friends) at KLGCC, was pretty enjoyable but sometimes funny. Here are my humble account of the Malaysian Open entitled: "Good golf ...Malaysian taste-lah":
Fans & spectators:
Whooaa..big crowd on Thursday! Parking has always been the main issue for spectators to the Malaysian Open. The Organisers (KLGCC?) did well to provide efficient shuttle service despite the big number of fans. There was probably 40,000 spectators for the final day which in the end saw the steely performance by young Italian, Matteo Manaserro to lift the Malaysian Open title just 2 days before his 18th birthday. I think, this year's MO saw the biggest crowd in Malaysian golf history...almost reaching 100,000 spectators over four days (rivalling our Malaysian GP in Formula One).
Sure, some Malaysian fans knew a lot about golf. They recognise the top players of the European and Asian Tour. The usual fun would likening 'bad' shots by the pros to their own...Very funny! But there a still a big number of local fans "simply talk" without really knowing their facts. For example, I overheard a 50-something old guy saying to his friend that no Malaysians ever made the cut in the Malaysian Open..which is NOT TRUE! Then, some of these Malaysian fans are also fond of be-littling the not so media famous professional golfers. They will label them with phrases like "kokak punya pro", "ini kita punya standard", "perosak"; just because they hardly hear their names or have seen them on television. Come on Malaysian golf fans...don't be like that lah!"
About Malaysian pros:
Same old complaints and condemnation among Malaysian fans on local players. The "accusations" includes: "Our players malas lah"; "Everyday train, so used to the hot weather and local course...but still unable to play well, how to win?." "See, Bangla player Siddikur some more terror lah!" Easier said than done. Honourable Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak concluded the continued 50-th year debate by saying the closest for Malaysia to win the Malaysian Open was via Vijay Singh because his wife is Malaysian. The challenge is undoubtedly steep for Malaysian pros... Danny Chia was best Malaysian at tied 41, one-under par total. To other local pros: "Show us that you have more than what fellow Malaysians think".
Seriously, the question mark on our local pros grew bigger this year as only one player (Danny) made the cut among the 22 Malaysians, which was the biggest local entry so far.
Good shots & star players:
A brilliant 'eagle' on the par 5 10-th hole did the work for Matteo Manassero to lift the 2011 Malaysian Open title. Manassero, just 2 days short of his 18-th birthday, continued his steady performance throughout the remaining holes to pip Gregory Bourdy (France). Rory McIllroy of Ireland who was in the flight behind Manassero, birdied the par 3 15-th, to stay in contention. Manassero did not falter, producing precise and 'safe' shots at 16, 17 and 18-th hole to secure his 1-stroke win over Bourdy. McIllroy also deserved praise despite a bogey in his final hole. To me, unlike what happened at Augusta Masters just a week earlier, Rory did not collapse at KLGCC. He was merely continuing his rise as a fantastic talent in the world of golf.