MENA Tour at Desaru Coast, Johor has drawn some of the top professional and amateur players from across the world as one of the main professional golf tours, and the addition of Malaysia to its itinerary has served to boost its global appeal.
The MENA Tour is a major player in the professional and amateur golf worlds, with the goal of developing and promoting the sport in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The tour was founded in 2011 with the support of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation and has since grown to become one of the most important golf tours in the world. The MENA Tour is one of the 20 “Eligible Golf Tours” that the Official World Golf Rankings acknowledgement.
It provides both professional and amateur players, particularly those from the MENA region, with the opportunity to compete in world-class events at some of the world’s most prestigious golf courses, providing them with an invaluable platform to display their skills and acquire experience.
The reception to the Malaysian Swings was extraordinarily positive, with over 110 golfers from 27 countries participating.
The opportunity to play on the world-class Valley Course at The Els Club Desaru Coast, created by the famous three-time world champion Vijay Singh in partnership with Ernie Els and his professional design team, has been a key appeal for the players. So, it was no surprise that it was chosen as the venue for the first Malaysian Swings of the MENA Tour 2023.
The course’s challenging layout and beautiful surroundings provided the competitors with an excellent test of golf. Each golfer’s skills were tested on every hole as they navigated the gorgeous course, and with the chance to earn vital points and climb the Order of Merit, the golfers contended fiercely throughout the competition.
The Johor Golf Tourism Association (JGTA) and The Els Club Desaru Coast worked together to bring the MENA Tour to Malaysia, and Tourism Malaysia actively supports the event.
This collaboration resulted in the first MENA Tour 2023, which had two major events – the Malaysian Swing I from 10 to 13 April 2023, and the Malaysian Swing II from 17 to 20 April 2023, which included one practising round and a 54-hole tournament.
The President of the JGTA, Col. Mohd Jamal Salleh, expressed his excitement at the MENA Tour’s debut in Desaru Coast and the excellent reception from the international golfing community. He emphasised the relevance of this event for the golf business in Johor, Malaysia, and the potential it brings to the industry’s development.
The collaboration between Johor Golf Tourism Association (JGTA), The ELS Club Desaru Coast, and Tourism Malaysia was clearly instrumental in the success of the MENA Tour Malaysian Swings, and it has set the platform for future collaborations to promote golf tourism in the region.
Over the course of six days, the golfers who were able to conquer the challenging course at The Els Club Desaru Coast-Valley Course and secure victories in the MENA Tour Malaysian Swing l and ll tournaments were the ones who showcased exceptional skill, determination, and focus.
These are the results:
Malaysian Swing I
Champion: Joe Heraty (England)
First Runner-Up: Aron Zemmer (Italy)
Second Runner-Up: Paul San (Malaysia)
Malaysian Swing II
Champion: William Harold (England)
First Runner-Up: Ervin Chang (Malaysia)
Second Runner-Up: Paul San (Malaysia)
England’s Joe Heraty held onto his overnight lead in The MENA Tour Malaysian Swing 1 at The Els Club Desaru Coast to become the first-ever MENA Tour event winner on Malaysian soil. Despite strong final rounds from his closest competitors, Heraty fired a solid level par round of 72 to beat Malaysian Paul San and Italian Arron Zemmer by 3 shots.
Heraty’s scores over the three days were 71, 64, 72, for a total of 9 under par. The winner of the amateur category in the Malaysian Swing I was Egyptian Issa Abbou El Ela with rounds of 73, 75, 72 for a total of 4 over par.
Of the 36 Malaysian players in the field under Malaysian Swing I, 14 participants made the cut, and five of those finished in the top 10 overall results. The low round of the final day was 4 under par (68) by Malaysia’s Danny Chia, who finished and tied at the 8th place overall.