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Asian Golf Monthly Awards Handed out in Singapore
As Peter Thomson stepped onto the stage, prolonged applause reverberated around the grand ballroom in the Palace of the Golden Horses in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was a poignant moment for the five-time British Open champion.
For the first time since the awards were inaugurated in 2000, and in commemoration of its 10th anniversary, the geographic reach of the Asian Golf Monthly Awards was extended to include Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands.
And the votes flooded in for Royal Melbourne's West Course, which was named the Best Course in Asia Pacific. Located just south of Melbourne, the course has been rated as high as fifth best in the world in various polls. It hosted the 1998 Presidents Cup when the International Team defeated the U.S.
The captain of the International Team was Thomson, who also served as the Royal Melbourne's professional for many years and is now a senior member. "I'm honored to accept this award on behalf of Royal Melbourne," said Thomson, following the gala dinner in the Malaysian capital, which was also attended by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
The 2009 Asian Golf Monthly Awards were given 24 categories, 10 in the Asia-Pacific and 14 individual country segments, an increase of two from 2008 with the addition of Australia and New Zealand. Readers voted on their top-three favorites in each category.
The only two categories for which criteria for eligibility were applied were Best Championship Course and Best New Course. To be eligible for the first category, clubs had to have hosted a notable championship - professional or amateur - since the start of 2008.
In the Best New Course category, eligible courses could be no more than two years old at the end of 2009. The Best Course Renovation in Asia Pacific and Golf Personality of the Year were determined by a panel of golf industry experts from around the region.
The awards were voted for by readers of Asian Golf Monthly, with more than 20,000 votes being cast online at www.asiangolfdaily.com and www.asiangolfmonthly.com - an increase of more than 30% over the previous year.
Asian Golf Monthly 2009 Awards
BEST COURSE Royal Melbourne Golf Club (West Course)
BEST CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE Sheshan International Golf Club
BEST GOLF RESORT Mission Hills Resort
BEST CLUBHOUSE Thai Country Club
BEST NEW COURSE The Banyan Golf Club
BEST MAINTAINED COURSE Siam Country Club (Plantation Course)
BEST PRO-SHOP Mission Hills Golf Club
BEST COURSE RENOVATION Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (West Course)
BEST GOLF COURSE ARCHITECT Nicklaus Design
GOLF PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Brian Curley
AUSTRALIA Royal Melbourne Golf Club (West Course)
CHINA Spring City Golf & Lake Resort (Mountain Course)
CHINESE TAIPEI Miramar Golf & Country Club ('A' Course)
INDIA DLF Golf & Country Club
INDONESIA Damai Indah Golf - Bumi Serpong Damai Course JAPAN Shishido Hills Country Club (West Course)
KOREA Sky 72 Golf Club (Ocean Course)
MALAYSIA Kota Permai Golf & Country Club
NEW ZEALAND Kauri Cliffs
PHILIPPINES Mt Malarayat Golf & Country Club
SINGAPORE Tanah Merah Country Club (Garden Course)
SUB-CONTINENT Victoria Golf & Country Resort
THAILAND Thai Country Club
VIETNAM Dalat Palace Golf Club
The above story originally appeared in Asian Golf Monthly.
For more information about golf in Australasia, visit www.golfindustrycentral.com.au.