Golf: Boustead Open is 6th event on SPGA calendar

Golf: Boustead Open is 6th event on SPGA calendar

With fewer Asian and European Tour events for Singapore players, the Singapore Professional Golfers' Association (SPGA) has increased the tournaments from seven to nine this year.

Next on the schedule for local professionals is the inaugural Boustead Golf Open 2014 at the Raffles Country Club's Palm course from Sept 2 to 5.

This will be the sixth event on the local calendar, to be followed by the President's Cup, Goodpack Golf Classic and a concluding tournament to be organised, likely with a Chinese sponsor.

There was a time when the SPGA struggled to organise event three events on its annual calendar. "The turnaround came about because of enlightened sponsors who see the value of mileage from golf sponsorship," said SPGA president M. Murugiah.

The Boustead event saw reality because Murugiah convinced Thomas Chu, the engineering services and technology group's division, Boustead Projects' managing director, of the value of its sponsorship.

However, it did not take much to assure Chu, an ardent golfer himself with a 16-handicap index whose company also has a team in Singapore Press Holdings' ongoing BT Corporate League.

Said Chu: "We are a very old company, started in 1828, and all along we had involvement in sport, especially football. We see benefits in golf tie-ups."

In fact, Boustead had a team in the now-defunct Singapore Business Houses Football League which, for some years in the Eighties was more popular than the National Football League.

To encourage amateur golf, Chu and Murugiah agreed that top amateurs be invited for the four-day event, so that they gain good exposure playing with the professionals.

All top local pros, save for Mardan Mamat who is slated to play in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, will be among the near-80 entries in the $30,000 tournament.

Among them are Quincy Quek, Lam Chih Bing, Scott Barr, Zaw Moe and Unho Park.

This article was first published on August 26, 2014.
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