Singapore's top two women golf amateurs to turn pro

Duo will be allowed to play against men in SPGA events

Singapore's top two women amateurs, Koh Sock Hwee and Amelia Yong, will be turning pro.

Their application to join the Singapore Professional Golfers' Association was approved at a meeting yesterday.

But they officially become professionals after paying the entry fee of $2,580.

Koh, 26, an individual bronze medallist at June's South-east Asia Games in Singapore, is a dedicated golfer who has played in the prestigious HSBC Women's Champions.

She qualified for Stage 2 in her attempt to play on the US LPGA Tour in the United States, but missed it in the final stage last year.

Yong, 23, a highly talented golfer, had also played in the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore.

SPGA president M Murugiah said: "The majority in my committee agreed to accept Koh and Yong's applications for they have been accomplished amateurs.

"We will allow them to play in the SPGA events - hopefully eight this year. And, although they will be teeing off from the blue tees, depending on how they finish, they will be entitled to prize money.

"We want to encourage them to play high-level golf so that they can enhance their careers."

Meanwhile, the SPGA has been alloted 20 slots for The Players Championships, an Asian Development Tour event staged in Singapore for the first time in seven years.

Raffles Country Club, who will be hosting the event from Jan 20 to 23, has been sprucing up the challenging Palm Course for the US$100,000 ($142,000) event.

TOP 20

The top 20 players in the SPGA Order of Merit are: Lam Chih Bing, Koh Dengshan, Mardan Mamat, Quincy Quek, Mitchell Slorach, Johnson Poh, Jerome Ng, Choo Tze Huang, Goh Kun Yang, Gary Kwek, Marc Kawasoe, Reagan Png, M Murugiah, Chang Ren Chiat, Peter Ang, Vikkash Babu, Dean Tan, Eugene Sim, Vincent Khua and Dino Kwek.

Save for Singapore's No. 1 Mardan, others such as Koh, Quek, Slorach, Poh and Choo will be competing in the Asian Tour's Qualifying School second stage at Hua Hin, Thailand, this month.

A total of 646 players from over 40 countries - 10 from Singapore - have entered Qualifying School, the first stage of which starts tomorrow.

The final stage will be held at the Imperial Lakeview and Springfield Royal from Jan 13 to 16 when the top-40 and ties after four rounds will earn their Tour cards for the 2016 season.


This article was first published on Jan 6, 2016.
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