Saltus Seeks Happy Homecoming

Wed 10 Dec 2008

Saltus Seeks Happy Homecoming

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Siem Reap, Cambodia, December 10: Defending champion Bryan Saltus of the United States has vowed to make the best of his defence at this week?s US$300,000 Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open, despite not being in the best of form.
The colourful American was painfully forced out of last month?s Barclays Singapore Open after dislocating his right knee on the first hole, raising doubts about his ability to defend his title at the Phokeethra Country Club this week.
However, the prospect of not being able to return to a country which holds too much fond memories for the 37-year-old American was simply too much to bear and the decision to return was never in doubt.
?Cambodia will always be a special part of my life forever. I?ll return time and time again, that?s for sure!? said Salty, as he is affectionately known, thanks to his quirky mannerisms on the course and his accessibility off it.
?I had the misfortune of sustaining some injuries over the past five months and right now, I?m still getting over the dislocated knee cap from Singapore. I?ll not be ready to defend the way I was hoping but I?ll give my 125% efforts in defending my title,? added Saltus.
?When I hurt myself, the first thing that I thought about was this tournament and how I was going to come here because I thought I had broken my leg. The crack was so loud and it was so painful that I didn?t know what was happened,? said the American. ?But everything?s great now and I?m just so happy to be here.?
Now that Saltus is back, his thoughts are firmly on the week ahead, working on his putting and also his swing which has been considered unorthodox by some but has brought him much success over the years.
?I?ve always considered my swing as a caddie swing. I never had a teacher, self taught and now that I?ve won a National Open, I know lessons are not for me!? laughed Saltus.
It will also be a long awaited reunion with his local caddie and friends with whom he has established a long lasting friendship with.
?I?ve been looking forward to seeing the friends that I have made here!  My caddie first of all and also my private limo driver. I mean the tuk tuk driver who calls himself lucky! He?s simply the best in the land!? said Saltus.
Meanwhile Singapore?s Mardan Mamat is hoping that his long overdue win will finally come this week, after coming close to a victory with three top-10 finishes on the Asian Tour this season.
Mardan, whose last victory on the Asian Tour was at 2006 Osim Singapore Masters, had to endure a winless streak since then and the closest the 41-year-old Singaporean ever came to winning was at the Midea China Classic in October where he was in contention for the title before finishing two strokes behind eventual champion, Noh Seung-yul of Korea.
?It?s always nice to finish the year with a good result and I?m definitely looking forward to playing well this week,? said the Singaporean, who is currently in 24th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
?It has been like a rollercoaster ride for me all season. But overall, I?m quite pleased with how I?ve played, especially since I?ve managed to keep my Asian Tour card for next year,? added Mardan.
The Johnnie Walker Cambodia Open will make its return to the Phokeethra Country Club from December 11 -14, with the promise of further charting the growth and development of golf in Cambodia.
The event is also the only international golf tournament to be held in the Kingdom of Cambodia and is part of the burgeoning 2008 Asian Tour schedule where there will be a minimum of 30 tournaments with over US$39 million in total prize money on offer.
Ends.
About Johnnie Walker
JOHNNIE WALKER is the world?s number one Scotch whisky brand with annual sales of an estimated 12.7 million nine-litre cases. It is owned by Diageo Plc, the world?s leading premium drinks business.
The JOHNNIE WALKER brand is the icon of status and sophistication. The philosophy behind the JOHNNIE WALKER brand advertising and the ?Keep Walking? message is to inspire and recognize progress and success in people who symbolize status and sophistication.
JOHNNIE WALKER has a long association with golf. Golf and Scotch whisky are arguably two of Scotland?s greatest gifts to the world, which may explain why the world?s leading Scotch whisky brand, JOHNNIE WALKER, is the title sponsor for the Cambodia Open 2007
JOHNNIE WALKER?s association with golf dates back to the mid 19th Century with involvement in many prestigious tournaments including the Ryder Cup in the 1990s and today across all levels of the game and across all continents on earth.
About Phokeethra Country Club
Phokeethra Country Club offers unique and memorable golfing experiences.  It is steeped in the history of the region. Within its grounds stands the magnificent ancient ?Roluh? bridge dating back to a Khmer empire in the 11th century AD.  Apart from the historical related, the Phokeethra Country Club?s clubhouse also features world-class facilities and affords picture-window vistas overlooking the entire landscape of the course.  Phokeethra Country Club is also ranked amongst the top five of the Best New Courses in Asia by Asian Golf Monthly Magazine and also is ranked as the Top Investment by TTG Magazine. As an official partner, Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort, which is the luxurious five stars resort in Siem Reap, welcomes you all to world-class accommodation and amenities.  Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort is located close to the magnificent Angkor Wat World Heritage Site.  It offers 238 superior and deluxe rooms including 23 suites and the unique Thubtim Siam Presidential Suite.  As service is the core of the whole operations, Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf & Spa Resort is ranked in the gold list world?s best 700 hotels, resorts and cruise lines, with 100 percent of services by the travelers in the world famous Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Sofitel (Official Hotel) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.