Golf: Qi Wen wins top PGA junior prize

Golf: Qi Wen wins top PGA junior prize
Wong Qi Wen, 17, was lauded for being the only player to win two events on the US-wide PGA Junior series.

After a stellar year on the fairways of the United States, Singaporean Wong Qi Wen has been rewarded with a place in junior golf history.

Earlier this week, the 17-year-old scooped the Boys' Player of the Year gong for the PGA Junior Series, which features the country's top high school players.

He is the first Asian to win the accolade since its inauguration in 1996.

The former Singapore Sports School student was recognised for being the only player to win two events on the nation-wide series this year.

"This award is especially meaningfully to me, because it has given me the confidence to compete with the best junior golfers in the US," Qi Wen said in an e-mail interview from Florida, where he has been based since 2010 in the hope of turning professional.

In July, he fired a sparkling career-low round of nine-under 63 at Penn State, en route to becoming Singapore's maiden winner in the series, whose alumni include multiple PGA Tour winners Hunter Mahan and Sean O'Hair.

The +1 handicapper followed up his feat with a second victory, at Purdue University a fortnight later.

This earned him an exemption to play at the top-tier Junior PGA Championship, where he finished a respectable tied-23rd in the 76-strong field.

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