Golf: S'porean quintet aiming high at World Golfers Championships

Golf: S'porean quintet aiming high at World Golfers Championships
Representing Singapore at the World Golfers Championship are (from left): Cody Lim, Sushminder Singh, Ko Yeo, Tan Horng Chiang and David Seow.

Five ordinary Singaporeans, from a wide age range and diverse backgrounds, are set to go on an extraordinary experience.

Almost everyone who takes sports seriously would have had the ambition to represent his country.

For five golfers - Cody Lim (0-5.4 handicap), Sushminder Singh (5.5-10.4), Ko Yeo (10.5-15.4), Tan Horng Chiang (15.5-20.4) and David Seow (20.5-25.4) - that dream is about to become a reality, as they leave for South Africa tonight to represent the Republic at the World Golfers Championship (WGC) in Durban from Nov 1 to 8.

They may not be as good as Singapore's top golfer Mardan Mamat but, after making it through the qualifying rounds, the quintet have earned the unique opportunity to fly Singapore's flag in a tournament dubbed the World Cup of amateur golf.

Some have had experience in such potentially pressure-cooker situations.

Lim, a 22-year-old fresh out of National Service, was once a budding table tennis player who represented Singapore when he was studying at the Singapore Sports School.

Ko, a constructive engineering director who at 65 is old enough to be Lim's grandfather, has also donned national colours as part of the Singapore Senior Golfers' Society playing in tournaments in South-east Asia.

But, make no mistake about it, the WGC will be their biggest golfing assignment to date.

"It's not every day you get to play against golfers from around the world, so I'm really looking forward to this," said Tan, a 57-year-old army supplies proprietor.

The quintet have been training hard in their bid to do Singapore proud.

Seow, a 29-year-old banker, will try to kick his habit hitting his shots high to avoid being derailed by the strong winds in Durban.

Sushminder, meanwhile is overhauling his chipping methods under the tutelage of M Balraj, one of Singapore's top golf instructors.

OPPORTUNITY

"I might as well make the best of this opportunity to learn how to do it the right way," said Sushminder, a 43-year-old prison officer.

"I hope this helps me to play better than before and do well for Singapore."

Earlier, Team Singapore had gone through the full preparatory works where they were made to feel like professionals. They went through a round of ball-fitting, where they could pick between two dozens of either the Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x balls, the best-performing balls used on the US PGA Tour.

They received a personalised Titleist golf bag each with Team Singapore and their names emblazoned on it and will also be kitted in FootJoy (FJ), who will provide half a dozen gloves, performance golf shirts, golf socks, FJ belts and a pair of DNA golf shoes.

Vanessa Heng, marketing and communications manager for Titleist South-east Asia, said: "SPH has done a great job in organising the SPH-WGC, which provides golfers who are serious about their golf a chance to compete n a level playing field.

"There is a strong synergy here and we are happy to be providing equipment for the team representing Singapore in South Africa.

"We wish Team Singapore the very best in South Africa."

S Murali, deputy editor of The New Paper and tournament director for the Singapore Press Holdings-WGC tournament, said: "It's a great story that five Singaporeans with such diverse backgrounds are going to South Africa to represent their country and play a sport they love.

"We hope they can make it an even more spectacular story by putting up a good fight against the other top amateur golfers from around the world."

It's not every day you get to play against golfers from around the world, so I'm really looking forward to this.

- Tan Horng Chiang

CODY LIM

Age: 22

Occupation: Just completed National Service

Handicap: 0.5

What does it mean to you to represent Singapore?

I've played in the Malaysian Amateur Open, but this World Golf Championship (WGC) will be the biggest golf tournament I will be competing in.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I used to play table tennis competitively and, when I was in the Singapore Sports School, I represented Singapore in age-group tournaments.

What is the your proudest moment in golf?

Winning the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) WGC Finals and qualifying for the WGC.

What are your strengths and weaknesses in the game?

I can hit the ball slightly longer than the average golfer, but my short game is my weakness.

What do you love about the sport?

I'm used to being individualistic, so golf is the perfect sport for me as I can play it by myself.

SUSHMINDER SINGH

Age: 43

Occupation: Prison officer

Handicap: 7

What does it mean to you to represent Singapore?

It's a first for me and a dream come true.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I'm a Singapore citizen now but I was from Johor, where I used to be a state hockey player in the 80s.

What is the your proudest moment in golf?

To win the SPH-WGC and representing Singapore in South Africa.

What are your strengths and weaknesses in the game?

My iron-play is strong but my weakness is my chipping.

What do you love about the sport?

It's a one-man show, you play to satisfy yourself.

KO YEO

Age: 65

Occupation: Constructive engineering director

Handicap: 12.9

What does it mean to you to represent Singapore?

I'm surprised to make it (as second reserve), but it's also a proud moment to be able to do so.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I have one son, one daughter and three grandsons.

What is the your proudest moment in golf?

I have two holes-in-one. My first was in 1999 in Malacca and the second was last year at the National Service Resort and Country Club (NSRCC) in Kranji. It's like striking lottery.

What are your strengths and weaknesses in the game?

My iron-play is my strength. My putting is inconsistent because I often use my wrist instead of my shoulders.

What do you love about the sport?

I used to play golf for networking. Now it's a hobby for me to relax and keep fit.

TAN HORNG CHIANG

Age: 57

Occupation: Army supplies proprietor

Handicap: 16.5

What does it mean to you to represent Singapore?

It's an honour, it feels good. No pressure, I'll just enjoy the experience.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I'm talkative, sociable and easy-going.

What is your proudest moment in golf?

Shooting a couple of 75s at NSRCC.

What are your strengths and weaknesses in the game?

My putting and short game are pretty consistent, but my driving is erratic.

What do you love about the sport?

In golf, you get to see and enjoy different courses, scenery and locations.

DAVID SEOW

Age: 29

Occupation: Banker

Handicap: 20

What does it mean to you to represent Singapore?

I'm going to take this opportunity very seriously and hopefully bring back some glory for Singapore.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I love cooking and my friends and I have set up a restaurant at Duxton called Labyrinth.

What is the your proudest moment in golf?

Getting my only hole-in-one when I was 14. It was during the ASEAN inter-school games and I saw my shot trickle in at Sembawang Country Club's 18th hole.

What are your strengths and weaknesses in the game?

I don't lose my temper even if I'm not having a good game. My weakness is I tend to hit the ball high, which could prove a problem with the strong winds in South Africa.

What do you love about the sport?

It allows me to spend time playing golf with my dad. We play every weekend and go on golf holidays together.

 

 


This article was first published on October 31, 2014.
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