SINGAPORE - It's one down with five rounds to go in the 2013 Business Times Corporate Golf League, and Team SunMoon have once again been at their consistent best.
The defending champions scored 117 on Laguna National's Golf & Country Club Masters course, two points ahead of SPH Sultans of Swing. Park Hotel Group is third on 114, Bank of Singapore (OCBC) in fourth position with 113 and Seagull & Gayatri United round out the top five with 112.
In addition to the return of a number of corporate entities, this year sees some familiar sponsors making a welcome return. These include presenting sponsor Audi Singapore, main sponsor Park Hotel Group, Audemars Piguet, Cerebos, Centurion, Boustead and Vertix.
A new sponsor this year is Coolcore, a leading innovator in fabric technology with patented chemical-free self-cooling technology, which is endorsed by a number of athletes, including Sergio Garcia.
"As we are relatively new in Singapore, we felt that being part of a prestigious event such as the BT Corporate Golf League will heighten the awareness and profile of the brand. What better platform than the League to introduce to everyone the various uses that this amazing technology can be applied to? This also coincides with the launch period of our latest range of products such as apparel and accessories which is why we see a good fit," explains Coolcore Singapore's owner and director Kate Cheong.
She continues: "I believe the BT Corporate Golf League is truly one of the most anticipated events in the golfing calendar of Singapore as well as one of the best platforms for networking with the usually busy corporate bigwigs from various companies. We are honoured and humbled to be able to introduce Coolcore to these influencers and we look forward to an exciting and eventful League through till October."
The company's investment in this year's League is roughly $6,000 and includes product sponsorship for the participants in the League as well as prizes for the lucky draws to be conducted in all six rounds.
Ms Cheong believes that creating awareness and education of Coolcore products through an event such as this one will be a boost.
"We hope that these participants from the various esteemed corporations will not just recognise the amazing technology in our Coolcore products but also understand the edge that they will be getting by using Coolcore technology to lower body temperature and enjoy optimum performance. Hence we hope that they can recommend to those around them how Coolcore can truly protect them even from the sun as we have UPF 50 in our fabric."
She adds: "We like to encourage, not just only those active in sports, such as these participants, but also the general public in embracing a more eco-friendly and healthier manner to stay drier and cooler for longer."
Audi Singapore has been presenting sponsor of the BT Corporate Golf League for three years and hole-in-one sponsor for all four editions. This year however sees a fresh team of players, which includes team captain and new managing director of Audi Singapore, Jeff Mannering, in addition to AS Hon and Jeff Goh who were the 2012 winners of the Audi quattro Cup, and who represented the company at the world finals in South Africa. Other new faces include Daniel Watts, Marc Singleton and David Tay.
Says Mr Mannering: "The players are changed every year as we typically recruit the players from our own Audi quattro Cup to be on the Audi team at the Corporate Golf League. The feedback we get from the players each year is always the same: professional organisation, intensely enjoyable games and brilliant networking opportunities."
After the first round, the Audi quattro team are in 16th place (which finished in 18th position in 2012). "We have five more games to go.
We remain very confident to climb up the rankings," says Mr Mannering, adding that the team have been at golfing "boot camp" in preparation for round two at Sembawang Country Club. This year's hole-in-one prize is the new Audi A3 Sportback which Audi Singapore has made available for each round, and they are still hoping to welcome a new driver into an Audi, says Mr Mannering.
"There are still five more games to go, so who knows? Just to motivate the players, we are also offering extended test drives of our latest new model to the players in partnership with the organisers of the Business Times Corporate Golf League. So let's all hope for good news in the coming games."
Another team that have played in every BT Corporate Golf League since its inception in 2010 are DBS Vickers Securities (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and it's something which the company will continue to do, according to team captain Leonard Lui. "We have enjoyed the competitive atmosphere, while playing among friends. Also it's an opportunity to include our clients to participate in this league format."
The courses too are a highlight this year. "It's a good mix of courses and Sembawang and Jurong Country Clubs are the new additions. It will be interesting to play there."
In addition to Mr Lui (handicap 14.8) in the team, there are Edmund Lee (14.7), Lim Kok Ann (10.8), Eugene Png (12.2), Henry Lim (16.4), Wong Hwa Cheong (13.5) and James Wong (5.3). After Laguna's round where they scored 102, they are in 10th position, which is where they finished in 2012.
"The highlight from last year was the final game. We were lying 12th before the game and we played well enough to get the points to finish 10th, which was the target set (top half of the table)," says Mr Lui.
"We will try to do our best in every game, and would like to finish in the top half of the table. We have no secret weapons but will try to match the team members to their favourite courses to get the points."
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