Teens Callista, Sarah take lead in HSBC Women’s Champions national qualifiers
Teenage duo lead the way with matching 76s at HSBC Women's Champions national qualifiers
The focus of attention was on the only pre-teen and the odds weighed heavily on the four professionals.
But two teenagers - Callista Chen and Sarah Tan - were all smiles as they led the way at the belles' bash at Sentosa Golf Club's challenging new Tanjong course.
In the first round of the two-day HSBC Women's Champions national qualifiers to select a Singapore representative for the US$1.5 million (S$2.1m) main event next month, Anne Fernandez, 10, made her "Major" debut.
However, it was one she would want to forget as the Marymount Convent Primary 5 pupil experienced over-anxiety, struggling to a 16-over 88 in a card littered with bogeys, double-bogeys and triple-bogeys that saw a great birdie being misplaced.
A battle-hardened Koh Sock Hwee, who mingled with the world's best women golfers at the main event in 2012 and in the past two years, was the name on everyone's lips - the other professionals were Amelia Yong, Joey Poh and Jessica Ang.
Koh, who turned professional last year, struggled slightly with her putting to shoot a five-over 77 of which she said: "I actually felt like I played pretty good, but just didn't make any putts, even those from five and six feet."
She shared joint-third spot with another previous winner Amanda Tan (2014), a shot behind 18-year-olds Callista and Sarah in the field of 14 golfers.
Sarah started impressively, carding a one-under 35 on the front nine, but a mixed bag - mired in the double-bogey on the penultimate hole after her tee-shot found water - saw her limping home.
I think I hit the ball pretty good with some really good drives and approach shots.Callista Chen
Callista maintained a tight and consistent round, marked by regulation in most of the holes and four bogeys.
She said: "I think I hit the ball pretty good with some really good drives and approach shots.
"But I think I could have chipped and putted a little better."
- 76: Callista Chen, Sarah Tan
- 77: Koh Sock Hwee, Amanda Tan
- 80: Amelia Yong
- 81: Melissa Loh
- 82: Elizabeth Ang