Heartbreak for Singapore's male golfers
S'pore fall short in team and individual battles, but take positives into World Amateurs
With a five-shot lead in their grasp, the stage was set for Singapore to claim their first Putra Cup since 2011 at Tanah Merah Country Club's Garden course yesterday.
In the end, it was not to be as their failure to capitalise on a number of openings, coupled with a stunning final-round charge by their main challengers, saw them finish runners-up to Thailand for the second year running by three strokes.
It was undoubtedly a bitter pill to swallow given they had played some excellent golf over the past four days, although national coach Andrew Welsford insisted there were plenty of positives to take ahead of the World Amateur Team Championships in two weeks' time.
"It was certainly ours to lose and all the guys will be feeling a bit down now," he told The New Paper.
"We truly believed that this was our week, having prepared well with four strong players. And our belief that we are (capable of being) champions certainly hasn't changed.
"We displayed a lot of fight, mental strength and good characteristics.
"Now we'll digest this over the next 24 hours and then we start focusing on the World Amateurs (in Mexico).
"Our aim is to get our highest-ever finish. We'll set our goals high, learn from this week and keep moving forward."
One huge positive from yesterday was the performance of Joshua Ho, who shot a four-under 66 to surge to third in the individual event.
The 22-year-old said: "You could say it's a bit bittersweet, but it's definitely more bitter than sweet.
"I think we all played well for much of this week, but we probably didn't convert our chances today, so it's a disappointing end to what was a pretty good tournament."
There was a double dose of disappointment for 2015 individual champion Gregory Foo, who had entered the day one shot in front before carding a 72 to finish fourth.
While visibly devastated, he was gracious in defeat as he paid credit to the Thais.
"I'm really gutted as we felt really confident going into today," Foo explained.
"We were just unable to hit the shots we needed to and it's going to hurt for the next few days, but we're only going to come back stronger next year.
"Credit to the Thais, they played solid golf and really came out to win it."
In the end, it was Kammalas Namuangruk who was all smiles as he took home the individual title after a 67. And the Singapore Open Amateur Championship winner is already setting his sights on further glory.
"I'm really happy. It's an amazing feeling, even though I was only focused on helping us win the team event," said Kammalas.
"Now, I'm looking forward to the 2017 South-east Asia Games and the 2018 Asian Games."