Sunday, 16 September 2012
The 9th green at Zhailjau Golf Resort, Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Phil Inglis) ()
The 9th green at Zhailjau Golf Resort, Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Phil Inglis) ()

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It is a country that many of the players admit that they knew little about prior to the Kazakhstan Open, but Kazakhstan is fast growing a fan club amongst the European Challenge Tour stars present as it continues to welcome, befriend and enchant its visitors this week.

The vibrant city of Almaty has played host to the Kazakhstan Open every year for the past eight years after the Challenge Tour broke new ground when it visited the country for the first time in 2005.

And just as the country opened its door to European golf, the locals in the city of Almaty have welcomed everybody involved this week with open arms and a smile.

The players have been glowing in their praise of the city with its stunning mountain views, beautiful restaurants and the delightful local people, who have been singled out by the players as the most positive aspect of the country.

“It’s really nice here,” said former World Amateur Number One Peter Uihlein. “I think it’s a great place. The course is fantastic, the hotel is great and we’ve been treated very well this week so it’s nice. It’s really good to be here and it’s been a fun week.

Spain’s Jordi Garcia Pinto agreed with the American, saying: “It’s a nice place for a tournament. The golf course is good, the hotel perfect and I've been made feel really comfortable here.

“People here smile all the time and you feel more relaxed when you are in that environment. It is so much better than I expected.”

Scott Henry of Scotland has been on good form this week and has also been blown away by the Central Asian country.

“It’s a great week,” he said. “The hotel is great, the course is in great condition, the whole place is brilliant. “It’s my first time here and it’s just perfect. It exceeded all of my expectations and it’s been a really comfortable. The people are lovely and the caddies are great. My caddie is just brilliant at what she does.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HENRY, ScottSCO18-19
3LEVY, AlexanderFRA18-18
T4MCARTHUR, AndrewSCO18-17
T4JENSEN, LasseDEN18-17
T4SENIOR, JackENG18-17
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