Sushminder eyes another crack at WAGC Finals
Prison officer Sushminder wants to represent S'pore in back-to-back WAGC Finals
He has already had a crack at the World Amateur Golfers Championship (WAGC) last year, placing seventh in his division and helping Singapore finish second in the team event.
Prison officer Sushminder Singh is looking to make it a delightful double after he shot the best round of the day - a nine-over 81 - to top Division B in the second leg of the SPH-WAGC qualifiers at Sentosa Golf Club yesterday.
"Playing against golfers from all over the world in Durban, South Africa last year was the best experience in my 15-year golfing career," said the 44-year-old who plays off a handicap of 7.5.
"It was my first time representing Singapore as an athlete, and it was a proud moment to finish in the top 10 in my division and in the top three as a team.
"This is why I want to try again this year to see if I can make it all the way again."
Sushminder and 71 other golfers - 36 are from the first leg - are through to the qualifying finals, which will be held on Oct 20 at the Tanah Merah's Garden Course.
The winners of the tournament's five handicap divisions - A (0-5.4), B (5.5-10.4), C (10.5-15.4), D (15.5-20.4) and E (20.5-25.4) - will represent Singapore at the prestigious WAGC in Antalya, Turkey, from Nov 28 to Dec 5.
They will be coached by top local instructor M Balraj before travelling.
Playing seven over on the front nine, Sushminder had to rely on all his experience to stay calm for the back nine and record a decent score.
He said: "I started badly and fumbled on a few holes. I double-bogeyed the first and the ninth hole.
"After that, I told myself to relax and began building confidence with a string of five pars from the 10th to the 16th.
"I'm happy to make it to the qualifying finals again. And, just like last year when I played at the Serapong for the first time, I will be playing the Gardens course blind again.
"Hopefully, it will be the same result. It really depends on whether I can control my emotions and temperament on the day."
Admirable mental strength seemed to be the theme of the day for the top golfers yesterday, as 45-year-old Kris Poniman also had to recover from a poor start.
Finding the water at the seventh and ninth holes, where he carded a double-bogey and a triple-bogey respectively, the 7.1-handicap golfer was staring at a 12-over scorecard halfway through his round.
But he finished strongly with seven pars, one birdie and one bogey to finish with a 12-over 83, the second-best round of the day.
"The conditions and the course were quite tough for me," said Poniman, who works in the real estate industry. "I don't often play at Serapong and my tee shots went haywire on the front nine.
"For the back nine, I just played safer and I'm glad to make it to the qualifying finals.
"I play slightly better at Gardens, although I have not played there since their renovation.
"I'm not thinking as far as Turkey for now. I will just go there and try my best."
ROUND TWO QUALIFIER RESULTS
- DIVISION B (5.5-10.4)
Sushminder Singh (81), Kris Poniman (83), Rajasekhar Vuppu (84), Victor Heng (86), Lee Boon Chang (87).
- DIVISION C (10.5-15.4)
Alan Koh (85), Chua Chin Goh (86), Teo Cheow Beng (88), Liang Horng Wang (89), Joe Lau (90), Ko Yeo (91), Toh Kian Chye (91), Lee Poh Hoe (91), Ang Beng Koon (92), Simon Ng (92), Vincent Ee (92), Bobby Bong (93), Simon Karvell (93), John Khew (93).
- DIVISION D (15.5-20.4)
Charles Yap (87), William Ang (87), Tan Kee Seng (89), Cobin Ng (89), Alvin Law (94), Raymond Tang (94), See Chye Seng (97), Tan Eng Hui (97), Tay Jam Chin (98), Kok Sin Wai (98).
- DIVISION E (20.5-25.4)
Frankie Lim (91), Anil Kumar (92), Kooi Nam Chai (97), Alex Chuan Yong (100), Ali Mirza (102), Jeffrey Dang (106), Phillip Ting (110).