He's pretty good with a club, as well

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.

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"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."


This article was first published on November 24, 2016.
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