SINGAPORE (AFP) –
Communist Laos will pass a sporting milestone next week when it hosts its first professional golf event, the $80,000 Luang Prabang Laos Open.
The small, poverty-stricken southeast Asian state will hold the ASEAN PGA Tour event in the world heritage city of Luang Prabang, known for its idyllic temples.
Centre-stage for the hosts will be the multi-talented Daliya Saidara, 22, Laos’s first professional golfer who has also represented his country in tennis and archery.
“I will feel more nervous than in a normal competition because all eyes will be on me,” Daliya said in comments released by organisers on Wednesday. “I have been practicing five days a week.
“I am excited and proud. I am hoping there will be more tour events in Laos.”
Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, a three-time Asian order of merit winner, will headline the Laos Open.
The May 3-6 tournament also kicks off this year’s ASEAN PGA Tour featuring eight events around southeast Asia.