Clara among three women to make Finals
Former national golfer among 23 through to Finals of WAGC local qualifier
She put away her clubs five years ago to pursue her studies in the United States, as well as her passion for flying.
Five years on, former national player Clara Ang has returned with a degree as well as a commercial pilot's licence.
She was in the midst of applying for jobs when her friend persuaded her to sign up for the SPH Golf Singapore qualifiers of the World Amateur Golf Championships (WAGC), presented by Centurion.
With just a week and a half of training, the 26-year-old (right) finished third in Division C with a 11-over 83 at the Tanah Merah Country Club's (TMCC) Tampines course yesterday and made it to the Aug 2 Finals of the local qualifiers.
Only the top 30 per cent in each of the five divisions made the cut in each of the two initial rounds, with the second round to be held on Tuesday.
Starting on the ninth, Ang said she was doing fine until play was stopped for more than an hour due to adverse weather. She was on the 14th hole then.
"After I double-bogeyed the 15th, 16th and 17th, and triple-bogeyed the first hole, I was just telling myself to not to make it worse," said the 14.4-handicapper of her slide after play resumed.
"I was a bit rusty today and, ahead of the Finals, I definitely need to practise more, especially my short game.
"If I can get my short game right, I am quite confident of doing well in the finals."
Ang was among just three women - the other two were Phuan Hui Xin in Division D and Lee Hwee Keow in Division E - on the list of 23 golfers who made it to the next round.
Phuan, a 40-year-old shipping manager, topped her division with a score of 83.
When told of her position, Phuan laughed and said: "I didn't expect this at all, even though I was aiming to go under 80.
"I was feeling quite stressed because it was my first time playing on the Tampines course. I had to rush a bit (after the rain delay) because light was fading, and I also had to go pick up my niece... but I am happy enough to reach the Finals."
Former school golfer Rachel Tan was among those who did not make the cut, but was pleased with her outing yesterday.
"This is my first time competing in this tournament," said the 26-year-old management consultant. "While reaching the Finals would have been an awesome bonus, my goal today was to enjoy the game and weather, along with building new friendships."
Another golfer who missed out was 45-year-old prisons officer Sushminder Singh, who won his division in the last two years.
He carded an 82 in Division B, and Erik Heng (81) was the final qualifier in that group. He clinched the spot on countback.
Sushminder said: "My game has been bad recently and I expected not to do so well, but (missing the cut) is part and parcel of the game.
"I've tried my best, and I will try again next year."
(Scores in brackets)
- Erwyn Lam (78), Samir Bedi (79)
- Billy Lee (77), David Yeo Yu Jen (78), Dave Koh (80), Tan Lee Hong (80), Erik Heng Aik Sung (81)*
- Victor Lem (79), Yeo Bee Kheng (83), Clara Ang (83), Ting Hock Guan (85), Lim Hock Eng (86), Roger Tay (87)
- Phuan Hui Xin (83), Willy Teo (84), Colin Tan Siak Hwee (84), Eric Man Wai Shing (88), Chai Kooi Nam (88), Tan Horng Chiang (89), Gabriel Teo Siak Meng (89)
- Winston Chew Meng Hui (90), Peck Chuan Yong (98), Lee Hwee Keow (100)