He's pretty good with a club, as well

PHOTO: The New Paper

With one big swing and another massive haul, Singapore's first Olympic champion Joseph Schooling proved he is not just a one-trick pony.

The 21-year-old shot an 81 (39 stableford points) to win the golf tournament and also picked up the longest drive gong with a distance of 255 metres as he helped to raise more than $500,000 for the Singapore Swimming Association in their inaugural fundraiser yesterday at the Tanah Merah Country Club's Garden Course.

Schooling, who was a single-handicapper in high school, said: "It was pretty fun even though the start was rough.

"I lost a ball at the first hole but saved that. The first four holes were pretty bad but I played the next five one-under. I had two birdies on the front nine and one on the back.

"It's always a wonderful feeling to be home and I was especially looking forward to the fundraiser because it gave me a chance to also give back for a cause I feel deeply passionate about.

"I would like to thank the partners and sponsors for coming out to play today.

Read also: Olympic champ Schooling calls for more funding

"I'm confident that with everyone's support, we can only continue to excel and make our nation proud."

SUPPORT

The fundraiser saw 280 golfers take time out to show their support for the SSA at the tournament and a dinner attended by guest of honour, President Tony Tan Keng Yam, patron-in-chief of the national sports association.

The money raised will go towards helping the association achieve its Vision 2020 goals in three key areas - long-term athlete development pathways, supporting the post-sport careers of elite athletes and critical professional staff development.

Underlying all three areas is a core focus in skill upgrading and education for coaches, technical officials and sports administrators.

The money will also be used to help strengthen the affiliate clubs' network through development of services and programmes that help nurture aspiring elite athletes.

SSA president Lee Kok Choy said: "The SSA is humbled by the generous contributions it has received tonight.

Read also: Life after Rio Olympics: 10 things to know about Joseph Schooling 

"We are very encouraged by the continued support shown by our affiliates, sponsors and partners, whose contributions tonight will go a long way in helping us in this journey to achieving our Vision 2020 goals of Singapore as a world class aquatics hub."

Dressing up Olympic champ Joseph Schooling

  • Singapore's golden boy returned to Singapore for a week on Nov 18 and AsiaOne caught up with him for an exclusive interview last Friday while he was doing a fitting for a suit at the Hugo Boss boutique in Ngee Ann City.
  • How has life changed since winning the gold medal for the 100m butterfly at the 2016 Rio Olympics? What are his thoughts on style and dressing? Does he have a girlfriend? We find out.
  • Q: Do you like dressing up?

    A: I don't really dress up for school, it's pretty casual. Dressing up once in a while is pretty cool, but dressing up every day? I don't know if I could do that yet.

  • Q: How do you usually get your suits done? Do you have problems fitting into off-the-rack suits with your swimmer frame?

    A: I definitely have an abnormal body. My shoulders are way bigger than my torso or my waist. I definitely have to get my suits tailored.

  • Q: Picking the right suit can be hard. How does this compare with other decisions you've made in life?

    A: I'd put it almost on par as me choosing to go to the US when I was 13 years old - that's definitely one of the hardest decisions we've made as a family.

  • Q: How has life changed since winning gold at the Olympics?

    A: I'd be lying if I said my life didn't take a huge turn...definitely a lot more attention, everything's more upbeat...Good and bad, but I'm enjoying the ride.

  • Q: Do you feel more pressure now since you've set the bar so high for yourself?

    A: Not really. I don't really feel pressure. I've got a good support system. I've got good people around me that I can lean on, so no pressure...My job is just to swim - that's it.

  • Q: Do you get special treatment from people now?

    A: I wouldn't say I get special treatment. I'd just say people are supportive and I'm really appreciative of that.

  • Q: What is one thing you can't live without and why?

    A: I always need goals so that I can motivate myself. I could never live without having a goal ahead of me.

  • Q: What do you plan to do when you retire?

    A: When I'm 70? That's kind of scary. That's a long way from now. I'm very content with being 21. 21 is a great age.

  • Q: Are the rumours about a girlfriend true?

    A: No, they are definitely not true. I don't have girlfriend. I'm very single.

  • Q: What do you look for in a girlfriend or a future partner?

    A: I'd have to be physically attracted to her... I like a nice smile, pretty eyes... But then if I wanted to date a girl, I'd have to connect with her on more than a physical level. Read https://goo.gl/57hsfd for more.


This article was first published on November 24, 2016.
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