Team Singapore ready for WAGC challenge
Singapore's representatives for the World Amateur Golf Championships (WAGC) are leaving for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, today with an eye on retaining the team title.
The team of five golfers consist of Samir Bedi (Division A, 0-5.4 handicap index), Eric Tan (Division B, 5.5-10.4), Danny Ong (Division C, 10.5-15.4), Gan Siat Yean (Division D, 15.5-20.4) and Ong Siew Yong (Division E, 20.5-25).
They will compete across four courses - the Kota Permai Golf & Country Club, The Mines Resort & Golf Club, Templer Park Country Club and Sungai Long Golf & Country Club - as they defend the team crown and fight for individual honours in their respective handicap divisions.
After two days of practice rounds, they will commence the four-day championship from next Tuesday.
Ahead of the tournament, the team engaged pro golfer and coach M. Balraj to help whip them into competitive shape.
Balraj, who represented Singapore at the 1989 World Team Amateurs in Sweden, believes that the team can handle themselves against top amateur golfers from over the world.
The golfers already have very nice, sound swings, so technical-wise, they have the ability to play well.M. Balraj, coach of the Singapore WAGC team
He said: "The golfers already have very nice, sound swings, so technical-wise, they have the ability to play well.
"Based on the qualifying criteria in Singapore, the team we send are already of a certain playing level. I'm sure that they can handle the various golf courses across the divisions."
Last year, Singapore clinched the WAGC team title in Durban, South Africa, with a score of 1,121, beating Vietnam by 27 strokes.
The 55-year-old Balraj said that the good mix of personalities in the current line-up also puts them in good stead.
He continued: "Some of them are competitive individually, like Samir Bedi (Div A). Even though it's a team event, you need some individual motivation to push you further so that you won't give up.
"Golf is based on their daily performances, so everyone will be able to contribute to the team event.
"My advice to them is to not give up, because things may not go their way sometimes, but anything can happen and they might be able to turn things around the next day."
Singapore's golfers will be travelling in style, too.
They are geared up with golf bags, visors and gloves courtesy of Titleist and Footjoy, as well as pro VI golf balls and Footjoy DNA Helix shoes.
George Liaw, managing director of Ice-Watch, said: "Singapore has fielded a very good team again this year, and I would like to wish them best of luck. I'm sure they will do us proud and we'll always be supporting them."
The WAGC is the world's largest amateur golf championship with national championships in over 40 countries.
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