It was certainly a classic ending at the Maybank Malaysian Open golf tournament held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club today.
Watching the eighteen year old Noh Seung-Yul birdied the 18th hold to seal the tournament was certainly exciting considering the challenges that he had to go though after his ball went flying towards the 10th hold. Worse was the noise of the crowd cheering K.J. Choi, a 39 year old Korean champion, when Choi birdied his final hold to tie the score with Noh. Keeping his cool, Noh hit his second shot which landed on the buggy track near the green.
Despite needing two free drops, Noh managed to make a wonderful chip, passing a lamp post and landed the ball around two and a-half feet from the hole. He later held a rather comfortable put.
When interviewed after his winning, Noh acknowledged that K.J. Choi had told him that it is about time for him to win tournaments.
Age certainly was not an issue in deciding who would be champion. Certainly in an international tournament like this, quota - something that some Malaysians like - will not apply as well. If we observe how Koreans fly to Malaysia in drove to practice their golf, having Koreans winning even the US Masters should not be a surprise. On the other hand, Malaysians like to declare higher handicaps, with the hope of an easier pathway to win, just like how much we love subsidy.
We should reflect on Noh's winning and ask ourselves why aren't Malaysian even in the top 10 when the tournament is played on our home ground? After all, golf is a competition between the player and the course, it is not a physical contest.