Poor Man's Game: Myanmar's Grassroots Golfers Lead The Way

    Por Hendrickson

    Myanmar professional golfer Aung Win, practices at a driving range in Yangon after participating in the recent myanmar tours Open where he finished top among the home players
    ? AFP Ye Aung Thu

    myanmar toursYangon (AFP) - As a hard-up 10-year-old, Aung Win scrabbled for pocket money collecting balls on a parched myanmar tours golf course.

    But he never thought he would one day play professionally, let alone in his isolated and impoverished homeland, where golf has long been the reserve of military top brass and the super-rich.

    Now 35, he is basking in his stand-out performance at the Leopalace21 myanmar tours Open in February where he was the highest finisher among the home players, winning admiration -- and a few thousand dollars.

    With a purse of $750,000, the Asian Tour event was billed as the nation's richest sports tournament as myanmar tours targets a new era of achievement to banish decades of junta neglect that left sport in the doldrums.

    Aung Win is one of a host of poor caddies-turned-pros who are leading the way in golf, a sport that grabbed him during childhood.