Golf: Singapore offered Causeway carrot

Golf: Singapore offered Causeway carrot
Singapore's golfers Lam Chih Bing (left) and Lam Zhiqun lead the way for Singapore on the opening day of the inaugural Prudentail Causeway Trophy golf tournament at the Laguna National Golf and Country World Classic course on 7 June 2013.

SINGAPORE - Singapore trail Malaysia by a mere point after the second day of the Prudential Causeway Trophy.

And with 12 singles matches to go, one would think the hosts need not press the panic button.

But Singapore should be worried.

For based on the strength and form of the Malaysian players, and the fact that luck seems to be favouring them, resulting in the sinking of long eagle putts and improbable approaches, the task is huge.

On Friday, Malaysia's Shaaban Hussin chipped in for eagle on the last hole for victory, and yesterday, Iain Steel snared a decisive monster eagle-putt from 50 feet again on the final hole.

That left Malaysia with a 6½-5½-lead in the Ryder Cup-style showdown at Laguna National's World Classic course.

Contrast the scoreline at this stage last year when the hosts held a 8½-4½ lead that eventually turned into a 15½-8½ final triumph.

Faced with the enormity of the Malaysian challenge, the Singapore Professional Golfers' Association (SPGA) have tossed an incentive for the hosts by way of a $22,000 carrot, if they win.

BENEFACTOR

The SPGA have offered $12,000 and convinced benefactor David Lam - boss of Goodpack Ltd - to put up $10,000, with the total to be shared by the 14-member team if Singapore retain the trophy.

It is a tall order.

For aside from Quincy Quek, Choo Tze Huang, Lam Zhiqun, Lam Chih Bing and Chang Ren Chiat, the other Singaporeans have not lifted their game on the treacherous world-renowned course.

The usually reliable Mardan Mamat and Koh Dengshan have yet to contribute anything. And in singles players M Murugiah and Poh Eng Wah, the hosts have two 50-somethings who will not enjoy the walk at the undulating Classic course.

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