'Lucky' Seow laps it up

'Lucky' Seow laps it up

His fellow competitors nicknamed him "Lucky", because he hit a flurry of stray shots on the first two days, but did not lose any balls.

And banker David Seow took advantage of his good fortune as he turned on the style on the last two days of the World Golfers Championship in Durban, South Africa, to win the Division E (20.5-25.4 handicap) individual title on Friday.

The 29-year-old is the first Singaporean since 2008 to win an individual title at the prestigious amateur tournament.

Darren Lim won the Division A (0-5) in Florida, United States, six years ago, while Francis Tan took home the Division C (11-15) title the same year.

Also, Nicklaus D'Cruz won the WGC International Championship in Hua Hin in 2009.

"I hit a lot of stray shots on the first two days, but I didn't lose any balls. None of them went out of bounds and most of them would just stop close to the out-of-bounds line, or I would hit a tree and catch a favourable break," said Seow, a commodities banker.

"The first two days, I definitely outlucked everyone but, when I found my swing in the last two days, I outplayed them."

EIGHT FOR LUCK

Seow's opponents were even asking him for his "magic eight balls" for a rub of the green.

He said: "One of my friends had a hole-in-one a few months ago and he won some Titleist Pro V1x balls with the "8" markings, instead of one to four.

"I explained that the number eight, according to the Chinese, signified luck, word got around and I kept getting requests for my golf balls.

"I am usually not superstitious, but I guess that helped too!"

Seow led his division going into the final day on Friday, but was very apprehensive of his chances of victory as his handicap for the final round was reduced from 20 to 17.

He also had to deal with the distraction of reporting on his Swiss flightmate on the third day for signing a lower score than he played.

Seow said: "I was very scared that I couldn't match up to my reduced handicap, and it was easy for someone with a higher handicap to shoot a good round and catch up with me.

"(The cheating case) definitely affected me. We had to meet the tournament director at 6am on Day 4 and the atmosphere was pretty tense."

He felt better after non-playing team captain Timothy Lim gave him a pep talk, and a "theft" also helped to lessen the tension on Friday.

Seow said: "A monkey stole my breakfast from my cart. It was a funny moment, I had a bit of gastric pain so I was worried about going into my final round without breakfast.

DISTRACTION

"So that in a way distracted me from the cheating case, I must say that I'm quite lucky (the theft) happened, right?"

Seow picked up golf as a child, but stopped when he started working.

He picked up the game again only last year, and joined the local qualifier - the Singapore Press Holdings-WGC tournament - at the encouragement of his coach M Balraj, who has been guiding him for the past three months.

Balraj said: "He had issues with his swing when he came to me, but I saw that he has the talent. He is 100 per cent devoted to his game, smart and responsible.

"A bunch of us usually play in Changi, and now we are waiting for him to come back and give us a dinner treat!"

A monkey stole my breakfast from my cart. It was a funny moment... So that in a way distracted me from the cheating case, I must say that I'm quite lucky (the theft) happened, right? - David Seow

sayheng@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Nov 09, 2014.
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