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The New Straits Times

Exotic Puerto Rico The Hosts For World Amateur Team Golf Championships In 2004

October 25, 2002
Copyright © 2002 The New Straits Times. All rights reserved. 

AFTER three attempts at bidding for the hosts job, exotic Puerto Rico will be the next destination for the World Amateur Team Golf Championships in 2004.

Puerto Rico are hoping to promote golf in the country, which currently has around 5,000 golfers, and only 40 pros.

An island paradise known for its beaches, the Puerto Rico Golf Association (PRGA) is planning to get volunteers from schools to get involved in the tournament.

Compared to Malaysia, where there is no shortage of pro caddies, Puerto Rico will be relying on volunteers, especially school children to help caddy for the event.

Puerto Rico's best finish in the Eisenhower Trophy is 18th, achieved in the 1998 edition in Chile.

"The course in Hyatt Cerromar course in Puerto Rico, designed by Robert Trent Jr, is very beautiful, reputation for hosting major tournaments in the past, including the World Cup. Even the smaller teams will not find it too difficult," said PRGA president Sidney Wolf in Subang yesterday.

Wolf said there are seven 18 hole courses in the country and one nine hole course.

"With the event, we are expecting more courses to be built in the near future which is good, as this means the green fees will generally get cheaper, making it more accessible to more people," said Wolf.

Wolf said Puerto Rico is aiming to attract a record number of entries for the 2004 event, 75 men and 50 women's teams. In the ongoing tournament, Malaysia has a record number of 63 men's teams competing while the record for women's teams in 40, achieved in Germany two years ago.

"Besides golf, we want to introduce the world to our food and culture, the pina coladas and rum as well as our music, salsa and meringue," said Wolf.

For the ongoing tournament, team captain Carlos Suarez said he hoped the team would finish among the top 15. Puerto Rico are tied in joint 18th position with a first round score of six-over 150.

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