A hole-in-one that won a Mercedes-Benz E200 sedan for a local Vietnamese golfer highlighted the inaugural Laguna Golf Classic 2015 played at Laguna Lăng Cô Golf Club, Central Vietnam last weekend.Nguyen Trong Ngoc, who came to the event from Haiphong in north Vietnam, took home the car valued at USD100,000 for his par-3 fifth hole ace on the course designed by modern golf legend, Sir Nick Faldo, who hosted the event.
Eighty-six players including locals and expatriates from throughout Vietnam and Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Korea and Singapore participated in the 36-hole stroke-play tournament, after which Sir Nick Faldo presented prizes in an awards dinner ceremony.
The six-time Major winner (three British Opens and three US Masters), who describes his Laguna Lăng Cô Golf Club creation as a “hidden gem”, paid special tribute to the course conditioning and presentation, while the senior vice president and managing director of Laguna Lăng Cô, Ravi Chandran, said the par-71 layout could legitimately claim to be “the best in Vietnam”.
No one who played in the tournament, held in perfect weather, could disagree. Sir Nick, who personally opened the course in March 2013, has maintained close involvement ever since, regularly returning to provide inputs and advice and enhance its elevated status as one of South East Asia’s best layouts.
Laguna Lăng Cô Golf Club was named best new course In Asia Pacific at the Asian Golf Awards in 2013, and was among the top 10 golf resorts in Asia Pacific and top five best courses in Vietnam at the 2015 awards in October. It will be host course of the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final for young golfers in March 2017.
The Faldo Series is a worldwide junior competition for male and female golfers aged 12 to 21, launched by Sir Nick Faldo to identify future champions. It is held in 30 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, North and South America and has helped mould Major champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng.
Meanwhile, the net champion of the inaugural Laguna Golf Classic, who won a premium lifetime membership of Laguna Lăng Cô Golf Club and a Banyan Tree hotel, golf and spa holiday package collectively worth US$25,000, was 18-handicapper Mai Dang Khoa.
Other Vietnamese golfers who took second and third places in the net competition were Le Tu Minh (12 handicap) and Pham Thi Thao Loan (22 handicap). All won hotel and spa vouchers valued up to USD5000. The gross winner with a combined score of 150 was 4-handicapper Ha Ngoc Hoang Loc.
Sponsors of the Laguna Golf Classic included Mercedes-Benz, The Macallan scotch whisky, Titleist, Puma, Banyan Tree Lăng Cô, Angsana Lăng Cô and Laguna Lăng Cô Properties.
A Laguna Park townhome valued at USD273,000 was also offered as a hole-in-one prize but was not won.
Ravi Chandran said the success of the inaugural Laguna Golf Classic had created a perfect platform for the tournament to be held again next year.
Top Photo: Winner of the Mercedes-Benz E200, Nguyen Trong Ngoc, with representatives of one of the Laguna Golf Classic sponsors, The Macallan scotch whisky.