These days, retiree Agnes Tay plays the game only "socially, to pass time", but she knows what it's like to represent Singapore in an international amateur golf tournament. And she wants another crack at it.
Along with Gigi Lim and Shannon Ng, her golfing partners at the Jurong Country Club, Tay hopes to fly the Republic's flag at the World Golfers Championship Finals in Durban, South Africa, from Nov 1 to 8.
The trio have signed up for the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) World Golfers Championship, which will see the top 80 players from the tournament's qualifying rounds - played at Sentosa Golf Club's Tanjong Course on Sept 23 and 29 - advance to the final at Serapong on Oct 7.
There, they will join 40 direct qualifiers and battle to win one of the tournament's five handicap divisions (0-5.4, 5.5-10.4, 10.5-15.4, 15.5-20.4 and 20.5-25.4.) and represent Singapore at the finals.
When The New Paper met the three women before they teed off for a round at Jurong Country Club on Saturday, Ng and Lim were sceptical about their chances. "I think, for us, the tournament is something fun to do," said Ng, who is 42 and runs a construction-related business.
"It's about experiencing a competition and seeing the big players surface, knowing where you stand, and trying to improve from there.
"We know we have a chance to go to South Africa, but we don't know how high... We'll just take one game at a time, and see how it goes." At that point, Tay said: "Oh, you never know."
She was one of four golfers - and the only woman - who represented Singapore at the BMW Golf Cup International 2007 in Sydney, Australia. "It was the same like this one, there were two rounds of qualifiers," said Tay, who is in her 50s.
"We played the first one in Tanah Merah and the second one in Serapong.
"It was tough competition but a really fun experience going to Sydney to play against players from 44 other countries. In the end, our Singapore team tied for 10th." The women said they were looking forward to playing at Sentosa.
"I seldom play at Sentosa, so it's a good opportunity to try the course and enjoy the scenery, because it's a beautiful course," said Lim, 45.
There's also the chance of winning a Lotus Evora car worth $250,000 (before COE) - the hole-in-one prize. Ng might be forgiven for liking her chances after hitting a hole in one just two months ago, although that was at Keppel Country Club.
Laughing, she said: "No lah, I'm not even thinking of it. There's a lot of luck involved in a hole in one, obviously. Even if one of us wins the car, we'll probably share it."
Entry fees for the SPH World Golfers Championship are $588. Participants also get a goodie bag worth more than $300, which includes a one-year All-In-One print and digital subscription for The New Paper, a box of Titleist Velocity golf balls and other gifts.
Visit www.tnp.sg/wgc for details.
This article was first published on September 08, 2014.
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