Strong field for SLGA Ladies Open
Australian Norris (plus 3) is the ace in the pack
The springboard to the big times.
That would be an apt description of the SLGA Singapore Ladies Open Golf Championship, which marks its 27th edition next week.
A World Amateur Golf Ranking event, this tournament has over the years attracted some of the region's top women amateur golfers.
This year, 95 golfers from nine countries, including Singapore, will be participating at the Keppel Club from Tuesday to Friday.
Many who have played this tournament over the years have gone on to turn pro and make a name on Tour.
Malaysian Kelly Tan, who achieved a hole-in-one in 2013, turned pro the following year.
Singaporean Koh Sock Hwee, who won in 2014, turned pro earlier this year as did countrywoman Amelia Yong.
Underscored Singapore Ladies Golf Association president Lyn Sen: "Lee Min Jee won this tournament in 2011 and she is now ranked 12th in the world.
"We have a stellar field this year and I hope golfing fans will venture to Keppel Club and perhaps catch the next rising star of the LPGA.".
The field is exceptionally strong this year with the lowest handicapped player being Australian Kathryn Norris at plus 3.
Apart from Norris, the Western Australia No. 1 Junior, others to look out for are Isabella Leong (Hong Kong, winner, Oregon State Invitational), Inez Beatrice Wanamarta, the Indonesian No. 1 and Loy Hee Ying (Malaysia, East Tennessee State U Golf Team).
Singaporean hopes will be on Jacqueline Young (HI 1) and Sarah Tan (HI 2).
Twenty-eight players have a handicap index of two and below, of which 14 are scratch or better.
The annual championship was first organised by the SLGA in 1982 to promote amateur golf in the Pacific region.
In the past it has drawn golfers from Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Guam, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.
It is an inclusive tournament and attracts both the amateur scratch golfer and the intrepid golfer with a maximum USGA handicap index of 18.
For the first time this year there will be a new Mid-Amateur Division 2 for players with USGA handicaps of 9.5- to 16.9 (age 35 and above).
The other two divisions for the tournament are: the Open Division for players with USGA handicaps of 11.9 and below (no age restriction) and the Mid-Amateur Division for players with USGA handicaps of 9.1 and below (age 35 and above).
Also for the first time, there will be two very attractive hole-in-one prizes: a Honda Vezel sponsored by CarTimes, and two business-class tickets to Bali plus a five-day, four-night stay at i Villa.
Awaiting the winner is an invitation to play in The Dalat 1200 Ladies Championship 2017 - a professional tournament on the Korean LPGA Tour.