U19 Individual Event
A total of 8 U19 players contested the final tournament of calendar 2014 – the TFAS-OCC Merlion Cup (U19) event at the Orchid Country Club. The Swiss system was once again adopted for this FISTF Satellite tournament.
Back Row (L-R): Bhavin Sham, Fadhly Fahmi, Azhar Yusri, Giovanni Choong, Galvin Ho
Front Row (L-R): Ruhan Sham, Isaac Lim, Luke Lim
After 4 rounds of action of the Swiss system, the final standings saw Fadhly finishing top of the table with an unbeatean record of 3 wins and a 1 draw yielding 10 points. Azhar was tied with Giovanni on 7 points but finished 2nd by virtue of a better goal difference. Galvin edged out Isaac by a single point to take the 4th and last spot for the final round of play. Tellingly, age and experience made the difference for the 4 older boys as none of the U12 boys made the cut to the top 4.
The final round of play saw Giovanni and Galvin playing-off for 3rd / 4th placing while perennial rivals Fadhly and Azhar fighting to be the 2014 Merlion Cup U19 Champion!!
Giovanni comfortably defeated Galvin 3-1 to take 3rd place. However, the final is a much closer-fought contest as Fadhly and Azhar played out a 0-0 draw at full-time. It took extra-time for Azhar to show the difference as he edged out Fadhly by a solitary goal!! This was Azhar’s 2nd U19 title of the year as he added the Merlion Cup crown to the TFAS Cup crown he won earlier in the year!! Congratulations Azhar!! .. and well done to all players!!
Poignantly, this tournament also marks the last that Azhar, Fadhly and Galvin can compete in U19 events; from next year onwards, they will no longer be eligible and it will be interesting to see how they fare against the ‘big boys’ in the Open event!! …
Winners (L-R): Giovanni (Third), Azhar (Champion), Kok Wee (TFAS President), Fadhly (Runner-Up), Galvin (Fourth)
Open Team Event
For the 1st time, a WASPA-style Open Team Event was also organised and a total of 20 players participated.
Back Row (L-R): Rudy Hesty Roselan, Anas Rahamat, Nur Hashim, Bernard Lim, Kok Wee Tan, Azhar Yusri, Ouabi Rouis, John Ho, Galvin, Ho, Michael Choong, Vikas Chandiramani, Nic Tan, Sham Doulatram
Front Row (L-R): Luke Lim, Ruhan Sham, Giovanni Choong, Isaac Lim, Fadhly Fahmi, Hideaki Wada, Bhavin Sham
The 20 players were drawn into 5 teams of 4 players based on their SG Rankings as follows:
Team Alpha: Michael (captain), Vikas, Sham, Isaac
Team Bravo: Rudy (captain), John, Giovanni, Luke
Team Charlie: Ouabi (captain), Nic, Fadhly, Bhavin
Team Delta: Kok Wee (captain), Anas, Hashim, Ruhan
Team Echo: Bernard (captain), Antonio, Azhar, Galvin
The 5 teams were then engaged in a round-robin format with each team playing a total of 4 games against one another. The team that finishes top of the group is declared the Team Event Champion. At the end of the day, Team Bravo emerged top and became the very 1st Merlion Cup Open Team Champion!! .. Congrats to Team Bravo!!