Zaw on comeback trail at Fortis International Challenge
Zaw Moe is ready to capitalise on a new lease of life with a successful
campaign with partner Soe Kyaw Naing in the Fortis International
Challenge from September 27-30.
Myanmar will join 19 other non-exempt teams at the Kota Permai
Golf and Country Club where the top-five finishers will earn tickets
to the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China in November.
A successful week in Malaysia will help the 40-year-old Zaw ease
the pain of a turbulent last two years where his golf career nearly
came to a premature end following which he stared death in the face
after being diagnosed with a serious ailment.
Ive had a tough last two years. Its exciting
for me to try and regain my strength and play some good golf again.
Ive told Soe that we should give it our best effort to do
well in the Fortis International Challenge as Ive never qualified
for the World Cup in my career.
I like the Kota Permai course. Ive always played well
there in the past, said Zaw, who lost in a play-off for the
Volvo Masters of Malaysia title in 1998.
In 2005, Zaw underwent a back surgery but after battling back to
fitness where he event played in pain, he was struck by another
ailment last September when he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C.
Regarded as one of Myanmars finest exports where he has won
once on the Asian Tour and numerous other titles across the regional
circuits, Zaw said he was lucky that the disease was detected early.
It was as good thing that we detected it just before it
got to the cancer stage, said Zaw. I felt so weak that
I knew something was wrong and eventually found out that I had Hepatitis
C. I have undergone some form of chemotherapy for the past nine
months which kills all the good cells and bad cells in my body.
It has eaten into my muscles that Ive lost 20 pounds since
then, said Zaw.
Im slowly regaining my strength and hopeful that I
can play some good golf again, said Zaw.
His doctors advised him to stop playing during treatment but Zaw
defied their orders and kept playing on the Asian Tour, albeit with
little success. I just wanted to keep in touch with the game.
My doctor didnt want me to use my energy as it could adversely
affect my body.
I needed injections into my lower abdomen for the treatment
and took six tablets a day. I have just completed the treatment
and Im hoping to rebuild my strength as I feel I can still
compete at the highest level, said Zaw.
Last year was the first time that Zaw partnered Soe, a three-time
World Cupper, in the qualifier and while they finished out of the
reckoning, Zaw said there were plenty of positives to build on for
next weeks Fortis International Challenge.
It took us a while to get used to the format but in the last
two rounds, we played really well and shot a 68 in the last days
foursomes which is the tougher format. Hopefully from there, we
can start playing better, said Zaw.
The Fortis International Challenge will use the fourball (better
ball) format in the first and third rounds and foursomes (alternate
shot) in the second and final rounds.
A total of 18 teams will qualify automatically for the Omega Mission
Hills World Cup through the Official World Golf Rankings while 10
places will be available through qualifying in Asia and South America.
The teams who have entered the Fortis International Challenge are
Chinese Taipei: Lin Wen-tang, Lin Wen-hong
Ghana: Emos Korblah, Victor Brave Mensah
Holland: Robert Jan Derksen, Maarten Lafeber
Hong Kong: James Stewart, Wong Woon Man
Iceland: Birgir Leifur Hatthorsson, Sigurpall Geir Sveinsson
Korea: Lee Sung, Lee Seung-ho
Myanmar: Zaw Moe, Soe Kyaw Naing
Malaysia: Iain Steel, Airil Rizman
Mauritius: Billy Narraina, Vishnoo Seeneevassen
New Zealand: Stephen Scahill, Richard Lee
Nigeria: Odoh Andrew Oche, Umoh Michaeledet
Nepal: Shiva Ram Shrestha, Sachin Bhattarai
Pakistan: Muhammad Munir, Muhammad Shabbir
Philippines: Tony Lascuna, Gerald Rosales
Russia: Korchak Igor, Ostankov Victor
Swaziland: Meshack Zwane, Moses Shongwe
Singapore: Lam Chih Bing, Mardan Mamat
Switzerland: Martin Rominger, Robert Wiederkehr
Slovenia: Andrej Kraljic, Janez Grilc
Uganda: Deo Akope, Godfrey Mande
September 11, 2007