Thursday, August 17, 2017

Yangon prepares to host second Myanmar Open
Kyaw Zin Hlaing
The second edition of the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open begins next week, as pro golfers from both the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour travel to the Golden Land for a shot at winning some of the US$750,000 purse.

Read more about last year's inaugural LeoPalace21 Myanmar Open below!

Open Champion
Shaun Norris (South Africa)

Shaun Norris’ victory at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open is his second on the Asian Tour after he won the 2015 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship.

Norris, 33, was an all-round sportsman as a child but made the decision to focus on golf as a high school student after his father told him to choose a sport.

Though the South African has described his journey to and on the professional golf circuit he joined in 2002 as “a long, tough road” it has brought him success.

First playing on the Sunshine Tour, he claimed two victories, the first being the 2008 Africa Open.

Norris has qualified from the European Tour Qualifying School in 2010 but in recent years has focused his attention on Asia.

He says his motto in life is to “play golf all day and then go and have fun”, and that he dreams of travelling the world and competing against other players.

Now with the Myanmar Open title under his belt, that will be a lot easier, with a three-year exemption to the Asian Tour and a two-year pass to the Japan Golf Tour.

Local Champion
Aung Win (Monwya)

Aung Win finished the weekend at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open at 4-under-par. The only local player to make the cut for the weekend, he was duly awarded the Myanmar Player of the Tournament.

Aung Win turned professional in 2010 in time for the Asian Development Tour’s Myanmar Masters event where he finished in runner-up position.

Since then he has claimed two professional victories; the 2011 Myitkyina Open and the 2013 Mandalay City Mayor’s Cup.

Aung Win’s performances on the 2015 Myanmar Golf Tour qualified him for a spot at the 2016 Myanmar Open – three top-three finishes saw the player take seventh position in the 2015 Order of Merit.

Norris cruises to Open victory
Matt Roebuck
After an astounding day three, South African Shaun Norris carded a final-round 71 in occasionally blustery conditions to finish 24-under-par and take home the US$135,000 prize.

Leader Day 1: Antonio Lascuna

Lascuna’s solid putting placed him at the top of the leaderboard after round one of the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open yesterday.

With a series of wins on the Philippine domestic circuit plus wins in Malaysia, he joined the Asian Tour in 2007. Although he has claimed an Asian Development Tour title, he has yet to score his first victory on the continent’s senior tour.

Lascuna did come close on three occasions in 2014. He finished tied for second at the Philippine Open and the Taiwan Masters, and at the Selangor Masters lost to Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat in a play-off.

Now with a first-round lead at Royal Mingalardon, Lascuna will be looking to maintain his form and snatch that first win. Full Story

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Olympics means more than money at Mingalardon
Matt Roebuck

The colourful trousers of Myo Win Aung will stand on the 1st tee of Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club and get the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open under way with a swing of his club at 6:40am. But it’s not only a share of the US$750,000 pot that some players are competing for in Yangon – some hope this tournament will help see them to Rio for the Olympic Games later this year.

February 4: Player to Watch
Yuta Ikeda (Japan)

Since Yuta Ikeda’s breakthrough in 2009, he has gone on to win at least one tournament every year and 13 top spots overall, steadily climbing to become one of the most successful players ever on the Japan Golf Tour.

The 30 year-old from Chiba in Japan had a spectactular start to his career, winning the 2003 Junior World Championship – an event that gave birth to great champions such as Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson.

Although yet to win a Major like those players, Ikeda has appeared in all of the big four and achieved a 29th finish on the greens of Augusta in the 2010 Masters.

2010 and 2011 were big years for Ikeda, with his performances at the Majors and other events ranking him then as the number one Japanese golfer and leading him to represent Japan at the World Cup of Golf, and Asia in the Royal Trophy.

The expansion of the Japanese Golf Tour overseas to co-sanction the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open gives the current 87th in the world chance to climb the rankings with the Rio Olympics on the horizon.

February 4: Home favourite of the day
Soe Kyaw Naing

Soe Kyaw Naing was a dominant force on the old Myanmar Golf Tour, regularly winning tournaments on the domestic scene between 1999 and 2009.

Playing alongside Myanmar golfing great – and Asian Tour Order of Merit winner – Kyi Hla Han, he qualified for and represented Myanmar at several World Cups and finished second in the 2002 Asia Nations Cup – a step up from the third-place finish in 1999.

Soe Kyaw Naing, 46, won the opening event of the relaunched 2014 Myanmar Golf Tour and has remained close to the top of the leaderboard without really troubling the summit since. However 2016 started well for the player when he finished tied for second in the YCDC Cup Open Golf Championship.

That result may give the man from Lashio the confidence to repeat his achievement in 2013 – the last holding of the Myanmar Open – when Soe Kyaw Naing finished 49th at 6-under-par to be the highest– ranking local player over the weekend.

February 3: Hole of the day
Hole 14

A power player might be tempted here at this par-5, but the hole is going to require two long and accurate strikes to put you on the green for an eagle putt. First the tee shot will have to hug the left-hand side of the fairway, but too far left and it’ll be in the rough, trees, or worse – the lake. Even if they land on the left of the fairway they’ll be under the trees. That second shot will then need to cut the trees and lake for a second time, plus land beyond the creek in front of the green. The good news is that’s reasonably flat. The more conservative approach is to follow the fairway and leave a simple lay-up over the creek – put it close enough and there might still be a birdie chance.

Title contenders eye their chances in Yangon
Ashok Manandhar and Matt Roebuck

Fresh from his Singapore Open victory over world number one Jordan Speith, South Korea’s Song Young-han landed in Myanmar with ambitions of continuing that good form.

February 3: Player to Watch
Danthai Boonma (Thailand)

Danthai Boonma may have only just turned 20 last month but he already has his maiden Asian Tour victory courtesy of last year’s World Classic Championship in Singapore.

Danthai stood out as an amateur. In 2013 he collected individual bronze at the Asian Youth Games and gold at the Southeast Asian Games. He then went on to capture the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics bronze as well as participate in the Thai team’s bronze winning effort on the golf course at the Asian Games.

He turned professional in late 2014 and instantly made an impact by tying for fourth place at the Asian Tour’s King’s Cup in Thailand. After winning his tour card in 2015, the whispers following this young man – that he could go on to emulate and even surpass the achievements of three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner and world number 29 Thongchai Jaidee – grew into murmurs.

Now after finishing last week’s Singapore Open with a fourth round of 67, Danthai comes to Myanmar in the footsteps of two-time Myanmar Open champion Thongchai (2002, 2004) looking to be the fourth Thai player to claim this title.

February 3: Home favourite of the day
Myo Win Aung

Myo Win Aung, 31, may only be two years into his professional life but he’s already gathering a reputation to match his colourful outfits.

He turned professional in April 2014 to participate in the relaunched Myanmar Golf Tour and finished his rookie season with a win in the Tour’s finale in Nay Pyi Taw.

In his second full year as a professional he confirmed his presence on the tour with victory in the Tour’s opener at the Royal Myanmar GC in Nay Pyi Taw before a second-place finish in Bago.

Those results caused Zaw Zaw Latt – winner of the Order of Merit in 2014 and 2015 – to keep one eye on the rise of Myo Win Aung.

“He’s a talented golfer. I expect him to continue to provide me with strong opposition as the tour progresses,” said the Tour’s leading professional.

Myo Win Aung’s form hit a mid-season lull but he found his stride again at the end of the season, finishing runner-up in the 2015 season-finale and then making the most of Zaw Zaw Latt’s absence in early January to pick up the win at the YCDC Cup Open Golf Championship.

February 3: Hole of the day
Hole 16

A pin-placement toward the back of this green and you’re looking at a 500-yard par-4 – the longest at Royal Mingalardon. Obviously that requires a substantial tee shot, to leave you in a position where a long iron can place you on the green in two. The players will need to rely on their practice rounds, their memories and their caddies as the green is hidden from view by a mound that rolls left to right. IBest not to roll it up short here or you may find yourself rolling into that bunker to the right.

February 2: Player to Watch
Wang Jeung-hun (South Korea)

KT Kim was looking over his shoulder at the Japan Golf Tour/One Asia-sanctioned 2015 Singha Corporation Thailand Open when he battled compatriot Wang Jeung-hun. Eventually Wang fell into second place but the contest proved just how much might yet be to come from this 21-year-old Korean.

After Wang finished ninth in the Asian Tour and 69th on the Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit last year, Jeev Milkha Singh used one of his captain’s picks to select himto represent Asia in the 2016 EurAsia Cup.

There Wang became one of only three players – the others Kim and Aniriban Lahiri – to put a score in the Asian column during the singles matches when he halved his game with Ross Fisher.

As well as the Asian Tour, JGTO and OneAsia circuit, Wang also features on the Chinese circuit, winning the Misson Hills Haikou Open in 2014.

February 2: Home favourite of the day
Yan Myo Aye

When it comes to local favourites, they don’t get much more local than Yan Myo Aye. The golfer joined Royal Mingalardon Golf Club back in 2010, to take intensive training while working as a senior supervisor of golf operation department at the club.

Despite that experience Yan Myo Aye failed to make the cut in 2012 and 2013. His best result from a Myanmar Open remains the 2010 edition played at Pun Hlaing Golf Club when after posting two rounds of 68 he was tied for sixth when the cut was made.

But the 27-year-old has won a professional event in Myanmar every year since then, including the Shwe Mann Taung GC event in Mandalay on the 2015 Tour.

February 2: Hole of the day
Hole 13

The most difficult par-3 on the course demands a very well-struck tee shot. The green has a large fringe on which to land and roll the ball up, but in front of that fringe is water and to the left a deep bunker. With an undulating green, you want to get your tee shot as close to the flag as possible: A pin placement to the left and back of that green makes the bunker a dangerous proposition.

In 2009, the Swingman Golf website listed the average carry for PGA Tour players using different clubs. The typical distance a 3-iron went before the ball landed was 203 yards, while an average 4-iron would hit the deck and roll up to between 210 and 220 yards. To the centre of this green is 221 yards, so good club selection will play a big part here.

February 1: Player to Watch
Danny Chia (Malaysia)

A two-win 2015 returned Danny Chia to the top of the Asian game as he finished 8th in the Asian Tour rankings, and as the 4th highest-ranked Asian qualified to represent Team Asia in the Malaysian’s homeland for the 2016 EurAsia Cup.

There he partnered with compatriot Nicholas Fung to twice square off against Søren Kjeldsen and Victor Dubuisson. Both times Chia and Fung halved the game to deliver nearly one-fifth of the Asians’ final score in their 18½ to 5½ defeat.

Those results led to Chia being picked to lead out the Asian’s in the first singles contest. Paired up against Ian Poulter – known for thriving in team competition – Chia came out with the most repeated quote of the weekend.

“Ian who? Ian who? “ said Chia smiling. Chia lost 4&3 but he at least showed he wouldn’t be intimated by the “big names”.

Chia learnt golf from his father, a businessman, and says he grew up idolizing Jack Nicklaus. Between 1993 and 1995 he won the Malaysian Amateur Championship for three consecutive years before turning professional in 1996.

When he won the 2002 Taiwan Open, Chia became the first Malaysian to win on the Asian Tour.

It took 13 years for Chia to return to Asian Tour winning form, winning last year’s Mercuries Taiwan Masters after recovering from the career-threatening neck surgery. With an Asian Development Tour win and six other top 10 finishes in 2015 Chia was bumped up from 451st in the world to 254th and will target the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open to climb yet further.

February 1: Home favourite of the day
Bo Bo

Another player from the HAN Golf Academy stable – like Myanmar’s Order of Merit winner Zaw Zaw Latt – Bo Bo also had success on the 2016 Myanmar Golf Tour.

As a winner at the Ayethayar Golf Resort tournament in Taunggyi and runner-up in Yangon at the Defence Services Golf Club and with other strong performances Bo Bo qualified for his place at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open by finishing third in the Order of Merit.

The Yangon native, 31, also finished the year strongly with a runner-up spot in the YCDC Cup Open Golf Championship. A pro since 2010, Bo Bo has only one other professional win in Myanmar; at the 2012 Mandalay Mayor’s Cup but after his best season yet on the 2015 Myanmar Golf Tour, he’ll be hoping the Royal Mingalardon can be the start of a special 2016.

February 1: Hole of the day
Hole 1

First tee nerves being what they are, players will be happy to see the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open providing what can be described as quite a generous start to the day’s golf.

Those expecting to be up in the lead by the end of the day will want to be bagging their first birdie here. To do so avoiding the bunker on the right hand side of the fairway will be the first task. Then with a tricky green ahead they’ll need to tease their approach shot to within a putt-able distance before tackling the remaining 17.

January 29: Player to Watch
KT Kim (South Korea)

Kim Kyung Tae, or, as he is better known, KT Kim divides his time primarily between the Japan Golf Tour (JGTO) and golf’s four majors.

The 29-year-old finished 2015 at the top of the JGTO Order of Merit with earnings of 165,981,625 yen (US$1.4 million). His five individual titles won on the JGTO were complemented by one OneAsia victory and a Asian Tour win that saw him finish the year 59th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Having played in and made the cut at all four majors, his top finish was tied for 30th at the 2011 US Open, the year Kim reached 25th in the world rankings.

As the sixth-ranked Asian in the world rankings last year, Kim qualified for his place in Team Asia in the 2016 EurAsia Cup. He was one of only two Asians – the other being Anirban Lahiri – to win in the singles round when he beat Bernd Wiesberger.

This wasn’t the only time Kim has come up trumps for Asia. A part of Team Asia at the 2012 Royal Trophy, Kim partnered YE Yang in a fourball sudden death play-off against Nicolas Colsaerts and Francesco Molinari representing Europe. Kim’s birdie on the first secured the title for Asia.

He also represented the International team as they faced the United States in the 2011 President’s Cup and won the individual title at the 2006 Asian Games. It was after this victory that Kim turned professional, winning the 2007 Maekyung Open in only his second season on the Asian Tour.

January 29: Home favourite of the day
Thein Zaw Myint

Thein Zaw Myint, 39, started 2015 as “Mr Consistency”: He never tore up the course like some of his rivals, but neither did he choke up on a round and throw himself out of contention as almost all his key opponents did.

In the extended Myanmar Golf Tour he was always in the mix for the top spot over the first seven stops of the nine-leg tour. Twice runner-up and winning once at Yedaung Taung Golf Club left him comfortably second in the Order of Merit and the only man with a chance of catching eventual winner Zaw Zaw Latt.

Whether the prize of sponsorship to the Asian Tour Qualifying School tempted Thein Zaw Myint into more risk or whether he was just struggling to find the same form, that quiet consistency was lost for the final two stops and the year-ending YCDC Open.

In all three tournaments, Thein Zaw Myint found himself leading the field or in second place after day one before falling to two sixth-place finishes and one eighth-place finish.

During the Tour he told The Myanmar Times; “We professional golfers need more opportunities to compete. Increasing the number of stops on this year’s Tour to nine is a great move.”

Having twice made the cut at the Myanmar Open – in 2010 and 2012 – with a highest finish of 45th, Thein Zaw Myint will be hoping to marry consistency and attack to make an impact at the 2016 Myanmar Open.

January 29: Hole of the day
Hole 2

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After a gentle opening at the first, players might approach the second brimming with confidence. But they’ll need to rein-in short of arrogance for what is listed as the second-toughest hole on the course.

The first of the par-5’s offers the golfer two options both requiring a good first tee shot positioned between the first two fairway bunkers. For the second shot the player can opt to lay up or attack the green in two. Looking at the green, the nearside left is protected first by the lake and then by a bunker. Erring on the long side won’t help him either as the water hazard extends behind the green. Maybe best to settle for par here.

January 28: Player to Watch
Shiv Shankar Prasad (SSP) Chawrasia (India)

Jack Nicklaus once said that a kid grows up a lot faster on the golf course, and Chawrasia, the son of a greenkeeper at Royal Calcutta Golf Club would likely agree. As a six-year-old he would watch members play and then sneak on to the course to practise a few self-taught golf swings before being chased away by the staff.

Hooked from that moment, Chawasria worked his way up the ranks from caddie to one of the leading professionals on the Asian Tour.

Nicknamed “Chip-putt-sia” for his strong short game, SSP Chawrasia clinched fame and his moniker in 2008 when he became only the third Indian player to win a European Tour title at the inaugural Indian Masters.

Chawrasia repeated that feat in 2011 when he won the Avantha Masters – also a co-sanctioned event between the European Tour and Asian Tour. Though he has racked up 13 wins over his career, all have been on the greens and fairways of his homeland.

But that doesn’t mean that Chawrasia isn’t a threat to the title at Royal Mingalardon. In the 2015 Asian Tour, the Indian ranked fourth in the Order of Merit, the second-highest ranked Asian-born player behind compatriot Anirban Lahiri.

That qualified him for the 2016 EurAsia Cup in Malaysia where he partnered with Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat to win their foursomes competition over Kristoffer Broberg and Chris Wood. In fact, his battles with Chris Wood during that tournament were some of the closest and most thrilling in the weekend that Europe dominated.

January 28: Home favourite of the day
Ye Htet Aung

Ye Htet Aung, 23, gave it his all at the 2016 Asian Qualifying School in Hua Hin, Thailand, but a devastating double bogey to finish the third day made it difficult for the young man to find his way into the top-40. After 72 holes of golf he tied for 68th, 1-over-par and 4 shots back from qualification.

Still his appearance at the final stage of the Q-School does mean he can join the Asian Development Tour, an opportunity he has taken this year, already having played in January’s The Players Championship in Singapore where he missed the cut.

As an amateur, Ye Htet Aung has frightened a few professionals, most notably with his first round at the 2014 Changmai Open on the ASEAN PGA Tour where he finished day one in the lead with a score of 9-under-par.

He also played the 2012 and 2013 Myanmar Opens and missed the cut on both occasions. But with more experience under his belt, he returns to Royal Minglardon – once his home course – with greater ambition.

January 28: Hole of the day
Hole 6

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Standing on the tee to the sixth, you’ll see the measure of a player’s confidence, or desperation on a hole where one could equally score a birdie or a bogey. Is a player going to go for the right-hand side of the fairway in order to pick out a wedge for the approach shot? If so, it will require an aggressive drive over the coconut trees. Thing is, even if the player isn’t feeling that confident, he’ll probably still need to go for it, because this hole is a stern test for accuracy of one’s short game.

Pin placement will determine whether they aim for the top or bottom deck on this two-tiered green. But there’s more leave it short and there is a large bunker running for nearly the entire front edge of the green, and behind there’s water. So back spin gents, but not too much back spin.

January 27: Player to Watch
Thaworn Wiratchant (Thailand)

Gary Player, “The Black Knight” may have visited Myanmar to design the Pun Hlaing Golf Course but the Asian Tour has its own “Man in Black” who continues to defy the years and rack up the wins.

In 2012, aged 45 years and 354 days, Thaworn Wiratchant became the Asian Tour’s oldest Order of Merit Champion when he topped the list for the second time – his first coming in 2006. Since then he’s won Taiwan’s 2013 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship and the 2014 King’s Cup and 2014 Queen’s Cup both at home in Thailand and holds the record for the most victories on the Asian Tour at 18 wins.

With two ties for second place in 2015 – that includes the big money Ho Tram Open in Vietnam where he lost in a play-off to Sergio Garcia – as he approaches his half-centenary Thaworn is showing no signs of losing his competitiveness.

“The Young Boy” as he likes to call himself first tasted success at the age of 18 when he won the Asian Junior Championship. Winning the title the following year, he went on to dominate amateur golf in the region and turned professional after back-to-back wins in the Thailand and Singapore Amateur Open Championships and the Southeast Asian Games in 1987.

The Thai says he most memorable performance was his six-shot win at the 2009 Macao Open where he finished the 72 holes with a six-shot lead.

Apart from his two Order of Merit titles, Thaworn’s other memorable finishes include the 2005 Indonesian Open, a co-sanctioned event that saw him become only the second Thai to win a European Tour title. And in 2006 he reached his first Major, finishing 31st at The Open Championship staged at Royal Liverpool.

Keep an eye out for the short-game specialist’s unique swing silhouetted in black against the green of Royal Mingalardon’s fairways.

World number one Spieth ready to take on Singapore Open
AFP, January 27 2016

World number one Jordan Spieth is gunning for nothing less than winning the SMBC Singapore Open when the tournament tees off tomorrow, but could face tough a challenge from some of Asia’s best.

January 27: Home favourite of the day
Zaw Moe

Zaw Moe, 48, is described by the Asian Tour as “one of Myanmar’s finest golf exports” and one of only two Myanmar players to win on the Tour – the other being Kyi Hla Han.

Zaw Moe won the Asian Tour’s 1997 Singapore Open before playing regularly in the Japan Golf Tour in the late 1990s.

Niggling wrist injuries and back surgery in 2004 followed by a liver infection in 2006 slowed down his challenge but he returned in 2007 to earn his biggest single paycheck of US$56,400 when he finished 14th, again at the Barclays Singapore Open, in the city state he has lived in for many years.

After a slow start in 2011, Zaw Moe switched to the now banned belly putter and found the form that gave him his best finish on the Order of Merit in over ten years by claiming 40th place with winnings of $93,008.

The twice Burma Amateur Open title winner in 1987 and 1988, returns to Yangon with hopes of making the cut and bringing in a higher return than his six appearances on the 2015 Tour when he finished with winnings of $2650 for the year.

January 27: Hole of the day
Hole 18

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On February 7, the leader of the Leopalace Myanmar Open will stand on the tee of the 18th and look down the signature hole of Royal Mingalardon. Without a comfortable lead at the last, that leader must hold back the nerves and avoid the water if he’s not to sacrifice everything he’s worked for.

Of course, even once he’s avoided that, the optimal landing area lies between two fairway bunkers on the left. Hit that stamp of land and he’ll likely pick from his bag whatever club he feels will leave him in the comfortable position of 100 to 125 yards from the green. From there a par or better should be his, as long as he doesn’t thin the ball and overshoot the green. Anyone doing that faces a difficult up-and-down to escape this hole without penalty.

January 26: Player to Watch
Nicholas Fung (Malaysia)

As part of Team Asia at the 2016 EurAsia Cup Nicholas Fung partnered with countryman Danny Chia to twice square off against Søren Kjeldsen and Victor Dubuisson. Both times Fung and Chia halved the game to deliver nearly one-fifth of the Asians’ final score in their 18½ to 5½ defeat.

Fung, 25, may only be ranked 427 on the Official World Golf Rankings as of the start of 2016 but the young golfer wouldn’t have been given a captain’s pick to make his second appearance at the tournament unless he was expected to deliver a year to match, or even better, his breakout in 2013.

The Malaysian will therefore arrive in Myanmar as one of ASEAN’s brightest prospects. He took to golf first in 2002, playing the greens and fairways of Sabah Golf and Country Club. It took only four years for Fung to bag his first amateur win, securing the 2006 Brunei Amateur before claiming the 2007 Vietnam Amateur, the 2008 Kelantan Amateur and taking fourth place in the 2008 Southeast Asian Games.

Turning professional in 2010, Fung won his first tournament on the ASEAN Tour the same year claiming the ASEAN PGA Vietnam Masters. His success at the regional level continued and delivered Fung to the top of the ASEAN Tour’s Order of Merit in 2012. Moving on to bigger things in 2013 Fung joined the Asian Development Tour (ADT) winning the Order of Merit in his first year, giving him access to the leading continental tour.

2015 brought a win for Fung at the PGM Johor Championship, an ADT event. More importantly a streak of form at the end of the year saw a second in the World Classic Championship at Laguna National on the Asian Tour and a 12th at the Ho Tram Open, an event that attracted a number of top European stars and was won by Sergio Garcia.

January 26: Home favourite of the day
Zaw Zaw Latt

The 2016 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open represents a big opportunity for Zaw Zaw Latt. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate his ability beyond the confines of the Myanmar Golf Tour.

The Yangon native who plays out of the HAN Golf Academy has been winning events on the domestic scene since 2003. Since the Tour returned in 2014, Zaw Zaw Latt has claimed both seasons’ Order of Merit with 2015, being an even more dominant year than the one before.

As Myanmar’s champion he has been sponsored by the Myanmar Professional Golfers’ Association to attend the Asian Tour’s Qualifying School in Hua Hin, Thailand. In both 2015 and 2016, one poor round ruined the Myanmar champion’s chances even making the cut, let alone a Tour card.

On the Myanmar Open’s last appearance in 2013, Zaw Zaw Latt failed to make the cut. This year, after regular golf on the Myanmar Golf Tour, another successful week on home turf could deliver the confidence this player needs to seek success beyond his homeland.

Asia’s new leadership to resume merger talks with European Tour
AFP, January 26 2016

Asia’s biggest golf tour said on January 22 it will resume talks over a merger with the European Tour that could change the face of world golf, and appointed Jimmy Masrin as chair of the board.

January 26: Hole of the day
Hole 9

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Closing the front nine is a tricky and long dog-leg par-4. Standing on the tee-box, players will need to decide just how much of the lake they dare cut in attempting to leave themselves with a short-iron approach to the green. Play too far to the left and they could find themselves in the fairway bunker.

Depending on the player’s preferred course management the second shot is likely to range from 150 yards to 200. Whatever the distance, the green is guarded to the front by a deep penalising bunker, so the golfer must put the ball high and drop it with the necessary spin to stay on the green.

Ball placement is key on this green if you’re to try and get away with a birdie.

Myanmar golfer can’t crack top 40
RJ Vogt

After Zaw Zaw Latt fell apart during the second round of the Asian Tour Qualifying School, Ye Htet Aung had a chance to be the only Myanmar golfer to qualify for the regions biggest tour.

Mixed Q-School grades for Myanmar’s golfers
Matt Roebuck

Zaw Zaw Latt once again uncoiled on Hua Hin’s Springfield Royal Country Club as he carded a 78 in the second day of the Asian Tour Qualifying School and missed the cut with a 9-over-par finish.

Myanmar golfers must do better at second day of School Matt Roebuck

Ye Htet Aung and Zaw Zaw Latt aren’t out of the running for their berths on golf’s Asian Tour, but they will need to up their game today when they tackle Hua Hin’s Spring course.

Zaw Zaw Latt heads back to Q-School
Matt Roebuck/AFP

Myanmar Golf Tour winner Zaw Zaw Latt will once again attempt to force his way on to the continental this week when he tees off in Hua Hin at the Asian Tour qualifying school.

Zaw Zaw Latt drives for back to back wins
Matt Roebuck

Should Zaw Zaw Latt complete 72 holes of golf before the Sunday stretch at Zeyarthiri Golf Club, then he is all but certain to claim the Myanmar Golf Tour 2015 Order of Merit and the unofficial Race to Hua Hin.

King’s ransom on offer at Royal Mingalardon
Matt Roebuck

The biggest prize in Myanmar sport will be fought over between February 4 and 7 when golf’s Asian Tour returns to the Royal Minglardon Golf and Country Club for the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open.

Asian Tour chair cites greater opportunities in ‘World Tour’ merger
Matt Roebuck

A world tour, created by the in-discussion merger between golf’s Asian Tour and European Tour, will provide a higher profile for hosts and greater opportunities for all, Asian Tour chair Kyi Hla Han said on November 30.

The Myanmar tournament scheduled for Yangon’s Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club on February 4-7 will occupy the same week on the 2016 calendar as the European Tour’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The US$750,000 prize fund of the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour event makes it one of the larger pots available on the Asian Tour in events not already co-sanctioned by the European Tour.