So eager, he's the earliest
Avid golfer does not let past failure stop him from trying for this year's WGC
He failed to qualify for the 2008 World Golfers Championship (WGC), which Singapore eventually won.
So this time around, Mr Henry Ong Ling Tiong is determined to give it another go.
The 40-year-old was so eager to join the fray again that he became the first golfer to register for the SPH World Golfers Championship (Singapore Qualifiers) yesterday, clocking his interest at 7.07am, immediately after reading about it in the newspapers.
The managing director of a transport company was pleasantly surprised when The New Paper told him that he was the first person to sign up for the event.
A 16 handicapper, Mr Ong, who plays golf twice a week, said: "The game this year will be like a trip down memory lane for me.
"Honestly, I don't think I'll even have a chance to qualify this time. But I decided to take part for the love of the game."
The WGC is played at different handicap categories, allowing golfers of all abilities the rare chance to represent their country at a world event.
In 2008, a team of five from Singapore won the world finals, the only time the Republic has managed such a feat.
This year, Singapore Press Holdings is organising the tournament, which will serve as a national qualifier for the November finals in Durban, South Africa.
Two qualifying rounds will be held, on Sept 23 and Sept 29, at Sentosa's The Tanjong Course, followed by the national finals on Oct 7 at The Serapong Course.
Each round will comprise up to 144 male and female golfers across five handicaps: 0-5.4, 5.5-10.4, 10.5-15.4, 15.5-20.4 and 20.5-25.4.
The top 80 qualifiers will advance to the final, where they will be joined by 40 others on a direct entry.
Another golfer, manager Danny Ong TH, 54, was the second person to sign up for the event yesterday at 8.13am.
The 12 handicapper admitted that it will not be easy to make it to the top five as he will be competing against many other strong players.
"If I make it, it will definitely be a bonus," he said.
SPH World Golfers Championship (Singapore qualifiers)
Sentosa Golf Club
Qualifiers: Sept 23 and 29
Entry fee for the SPH World Golfers Championship Qualifiers is $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.
To register, go to www.tnp.sg/wgc
Our sponsors say
"We are happy to partner SPH in this inaugural national golf tournament to inspire and groom new golfing talents who could one day make Singapore proud.
"To commemorate this partnership, we are happy to offer the Lotus Evora, which comes with the limited edition dress-up, as the hole-in-one prize. We are glad to do our part in making the tournament more exciting. And we look forward to seeing one lucky golfer drive away this sports car."
- Mr Jacky Wong, managing director of Richburg Motors, the company that brings Lotus into Singapore
"With growing affluence among Singaporeans who are well-travelled, many are seeking new destinations.
"In pursuit of brand excellence and customer satisfaction, Dynasty Travel is always looking to differentiate itself from the rest of the industry by creating 'unique experiences' for all our clients.
"We are pleased to be part of this tournament and would like to extend our invitations to all the golfers and their families and friends to sign up their dream vacations with us."
- Ms Alicia Seah, the director of Marketing Communications for Dynasty Travel
"As property developers, we are pleased to be part of this inaugural golf tournament by SPH.
"To do well in this game, one needs to have a strong will, excellent skills and most importantly, a never-say-die attitude. These are qualities that we inculcate in our team as we strive to win the investment game for all our clients."
- Mr Eric Cheng, the chief executive officer of ECG Holdings and managing director of TEHO Development