SGA launched their inaugural Junior Golf Invitational 9 hole tournaments for 70 juniors (grouped into four divisions for ages 8 – 11 years of age and 12 – 14 for both boys and girls) with a bang on the 27 March 2017 at the famous Sentosa Serapong course. The Serapong course is world renowned and has been the host for so many professional events including this year’s SMBC Singapore Open and HSBC LPGA Women’s Champions.
Held on a Monday afternoon, SGA Junior Sub-committee and the SGA management team organized a terrific tournament for our juniors as could be seen by their meticulous attention to details. This could be seen from the very beginning as SGA’s mailer to parents dealt with all cogent topics like registration, COCs, caddies, usage of the practice facilities for warming up down to smallest details (like parking).
SGA certainly turned on the taps and mobilized resources as there were Sentosa volunteers following every flight of the juniors as well as static marshals on course. SGA also organized members of the SGA Elite Squad team members to be on course to assist and inspire the juniors. Parents and juniors showed how serious they took this tournament by their detailed preparation with some juniors using their teaching pros and others hiring local Sentosa caddies, to be on their bags. However, most juniors had their parents caddying for them through the round and the sight of juniors and parents working on their course management strategies together and bonding through the experience was certainly heartwarming.
The experience of playing on a true championship course cannot be described. The organizers tried to make the tournament age appropriate by providing forward junior tees. However, the juniors still learnt quickly what a challenge playing on Serapong course with its lightning fast greens and the oft stated importance of playing from the fairways (as their balls often could not hold the greens from the rough).
The tournament culminated in a sumptuous buffet dinner held at the Sentosa Pavillion where the prize giving ceremony was held. The Boys A division (for those aged 14 years and under) competition was won by Sean Lee from Keppel Club with gross score of 37OCB, on the par 36 course. Sean was followed closely by Brandon Han, a new inductee to the SGA Development Squad. The top five boys were rounded off with Shmuwel Soh (gross 41 OCB) coming in third, Austin Anderson Tan (gross 41) fourth and Hoo Fang Wei (gross 42OCB) fifth.
In the Girls A division, the competition was won by Rachel Sim with a gross score of 41 and followed closely by Joelle Tang (gross 42) and Heng Ee En (gross 42), both of whom had gross scores of 42. Together with Rachel Maswi in 5th place (gross 43), four of the top 5 girls are from MGS which is a school with a great golfing tradition, with Vanessa Chua coming in 4th with gross score of 43 OCB.
In Division 2 (for those juniors aged 11 years and under), the organizers made the competition more participation friendly by basing the competition on Stableford format which encouraged the young juniors to be more aggressive and attack the course. In the Boys B division, Bryan Heng (handicap 24) came in first place with Stableford points of 24 OCB followed closely by runner up, Md Iryan (handicap 22.7) with Stableford points of 24. In the Girls B division, Tatiana Ang Rui Jing (handicap 26.4) returned in first place with 17 Stableford points followed by another MGS girl, Jillian Kuk (handicap 9) with 16 Stableford points. Outstanding performance awards were given to Division 2 players, Daryl Low and Angel Lim for posting low gross rounds..
SGA would like to thank all its sponsors including Callaway Golf Company, Marigold, Taylormade/ Adidas, MST Golf, Leonian, TitleistFJ, Cartimes and CobraPuma Golf for their staunch support of this inaugural junior event and making it such a great success. A very special thanks to Sentosa Golf Club, its members and its staff for setting up the course to give our juniors the opportunity to play on a true championship course and experience tournament conditions and for organizing this very special event.
Finally, thank you to our juniors and their parents for supporting this event. The next SGA junior 9 hole game is scheduled to be at Seletar Golf Club on 17th April 2017.
The juniors are our future. SGA looks forward to working with all parents to bring our juniors to higher heights. - Mr Kuk Hun Yi, SGA Marcom Sub-Committee