Malaysia to Host 2002 World Amateur


Saujana Golf & Country Club will host both the men's and women's 2002 World Amateur Team Championships, the World Amateur Golf Council and Malaysian Golf Association has announced.
The 20th women's competition for the Espirito Santo Trophy will be held from October 2-5, 2002. The 23rd men's competition for the Eisenhower Trophy will be held from October 10-13.
France is the defending champion in the women's event while the United States won the men's crown last year in Germany.
Malaysia was designated last August as the seventh Asian nation to host the biennial championships, which gather some of the best amateurs in the world.
'The best part of the World Amateur Team Championships is playing the events around the globe,' said Stephanie Parel, a WAGC joint deputy secretary. 'The 2002 participants will enjoy experiencing Malaysian culture and hospitality.'
Both of Saujana's courses, designed by Ron Fream and opened in 1985, will be used for the championships. The Palm Course, nicknamed 'The Cobra,' has been the host of five Malaysian Opens. In February Vijay Singh defeated Padraig Harrington in a three-hole playoff for the title. The Palm also was the site of the Malaysian Ladies Open three times, including 2000 and 2001.
Saujana's other course, the Bunga Raya, the Malaysian word for hibiscus, the national flower, is nicknamed 'The Crocodile' for its abundant water hazards.
The WAGC was founded in 1958 to encourage the international development of golf and to employ the game as a vehicle to foster friendship and sportsmanship among the peoples of the world. Serving as the International Olympic Committee's recognized International Federation for golf, the WAGC comprises the national governing bodies of amateur golf in nearly 100 countries.
Both championships are over 72 holes of stroke play. In the Espirito Santo, the two lowest individual scores on each three-woman team are used to determine a nation's daily total. In the Eisenhower, the three lowest individual scores on each four-man team are employed.
Last year in Germany, 40 women's teams and 59 men's teams competed. As recently as 1996, when the competitions were held in Manila, Philippines, only 33 nations were represented in the women's field and 47 were represented in the men's.
'In October of next year, we anticipate record entries, surpassing the numbers in Berlin last year,' said Thomas Lee, president of the MGA. 'We are hoping for 50 women's teams and as many men's teams as the WAGC can accommodate. With the excellent facilities of the golf courses and our Malaysian hospitality, we hope to put up two outstanding championships.'
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