Three amateur tournaments hosted by Vietnam Golf Association (VGA) began Thursday, starting with Vietnam Amateur Open (VAO) and Vietnam Ladies Amateur Open (VLAO).
After VAO and VLAO, the VGA will launch the youth tournament Vietnam Junior Open from July 29 to 31. All three events will take place at the Marshland Course of Vinpearl Golf Hai Phong.
VAO gathers 91 male golfers to play over four rounds, while VLAO features 28 female golfers competing over three rounds. The tournaments feature seven foreign golfers, including two who competed in the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam – Hlaing Min Tet (Myanmar) and Rhaasrikanesh Kavanathi (Malaysia). At the May event, Hlaing Min Tet finished 10th and Kavanathi, 15th. In the team event, Kavanathi was the factor that helped Malaysia win the gold medal against Thailand.
With Hlaing Min Tet and Kanavathi, VAO 2022 will look like a mini version of SEA Games since the tournament has the participation of the entire Vietnam men’s golf team of SEA Games 31, including Nguyen Anh Minh, Nguyen Dang Minh, Le Khanh Hung and Nguyen Quang Tri.
Dang Minh, 17, attends this year’s VAO as the defending champion, after winning the title in 2020. The winner of the 2020 VLAO, Hanako Kawasaki, won’t attend this year’s tournament. Last year, both tournaments were canceled because of Covid-19.
This year, VAO only accepts male players with a maximum handicap of 9.0 and female players with 15.0. Among the domestic golfers in VAO, Anh Minh is the most formidable, being the only Vietnamese player in the world’s top 1000 world amateur golf ranking (928th).
Since the beginning of the year, the 15-year-old has achieved impressive feats for Vietnamese golf. From March to April, he won two VGA Tour titles to become the first and youngest amateur champion in a professional golf tournament in Vietnam. A month later, the young talent finished sixth in the individual event of the 31st SEA Games.
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