S'pore's WAGC golfers all dressed up for success
Amateur golfers bursting with pride - and pressure - as they prepare to swing for Singapore at WAGC Finals
He tried it on for size for the first time, then stood in his new kit, checking his posture, paying particular attention to how the fabric hung onto his skin.
Willy Teo admitted to having won a couple of "small tournaments" in the past, but looming ahead is the World Amateur Golfers Championship (WAGC) Finals in Turkey, where he will be battling to do his country proud.
His eyes opened wider when the topic of conversation moved to representing Singapore at the world Finals.
"The responsibility is huge. I'm excited but also very worried about wearing the flag on my chest," he said.
Teo, along with Sushminder Singh, Frankie Lim, Patrick Goh and Ron Totton are the Republic's five representatives at the WAGC Finals in Antalya, Turkey, from Nov 28 to Dec 5.
They each earned their spot by winning their respective divisions at the SPH-WAGC finals last month. While Totton was overseas, the rest of the winners came together at Orchid Country Club yesterday for a fitting session to try on the uniforms they will don in Turkey.
More than the novelty of wearing new gear, from tops to vests and shoes sponsored by Titleist and FootJoy, it was national pride that was on everyone's mind.
"I really feel like a pro, having to do all this but, more than that, I guess this is what it feels like to be a national player," said Teo, an electrical industry sales professional.
"I've been training very hard these few weeks and reading up on rules, I've been doing a lot of homework.
"This is all because I'm worried that we can't meet expectations."
Singapore finished second in the WAGC Finals last year, with banker David Seow picking up an individual title in Division E (20.5-25.4 handicap).
The Republic's golfers are no strangers to success, having won the team event in 2008.
This year, the team will once again get tips from top local instructor M Balraj before making the trip to Turkey.
Like Teo, Lim, who will represent Singapore in Division E, is also feeling the heat.
But he has already devised a tried-and-tested approach that he hopes will be helpful once the competition kicks off.
"Of course we want to win it all, and wearing the flag on our chest is why it will feel great but, on the actual day (of competition), you never know what can happen," said Lim.
"When I played the (SPH-WAGC) finals, I went in to just enjoy myself, and that helped me win.
"(In Turkey) I will do the same, go easy, enjoy and see what happens."
Goh echoed that sentiment.
Said the 40-year-old: "There is pressure on us to match or even better last year's performance.
"Of course we want to win, that's why we are going, but I think the trick is just to treat it as a social game."