SPH gives golf amateurs rare chance to play on world stage

SINGAPORE - Ever fancied representing Singapore at a global golf event, pitting yourself against like-minded players from around the world?

This year, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is offering five amateur golfers - male and female - the chance to do so.

For the first time, it is organising the SPH World Golfers Championship (WGC), a tournament which serves as a national qualifier for the WGC finals in South Africa.

The competition has five handicap divisions (1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20 and 21-24), and the winner of each division will represent Singapore at the main event to be held in Durban from Nov 1-8.

There, they will compete for a team title, as well as individual honours within their handicap categories.

Said Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English and Malay Newspapers Division: "SPH is happy to organise this golf tournament for amateurs of all skill levels. They will have the rare opportunity to represent Singapore in a major international tournament and pit themselves against other winning teams from around the world.

"Plus, they will get to play on some of the finest courses in South Africa."

Sentosa Golf Club's Tanjong Course will host two qualifying rounds next month, on Sept 23 and Sept 29 respectively.

The top 80 players will advance to the final on Oct 7, to be played at Sentosa's Serapong Course, which hosted February's HSBC Women's Champions. Forty others will join the top 80 via direct entry.

The winners will be coached by one of Singapore's top coaches, M. Balraj.

All participants will receive a one-year All-In-One print and digital subscription for The New Paper, a box of Titleist Velocity golf balls and other gifts worth more than $300.

Ex-national golfer Daren Lim played in the WGC for three years from 2008 to 2010, and said winning the overall title in 2008 was an experience he will never forget.

Said Lim, 33: "The five of us were on the same page from day one - we wanted to win the competition for our country. The camaraderie we had was amazing, and it was one of my best experiences ever."

Entry fees for the SPH World Golfers Championship are $588, with an early bird price of $488.

Those who wish to play in the national final directly need to pay $1,288 with limited slots available.

Registration opens today. To sign up, visit www.tnp.sg/wgc.

This article was first published on August 15, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.