Contributed by Zal Dastur
Singapore golfers (left to right): Tze Huang Choo, Lam Zhiqun and Jerome Ng. Zhiqun qualified outright for the Asian Amateur Championship when he won the 2011 Singapore National Amateur Championship. (Photo courtesy of Zal Dastur)
Singapore, Thursday, September 15, 2011 — A total of 10 representatives from Singapore will compete in the third-annual Asian Amateur Championship.
Joshua Shou, Lam Zhiqun, Marc Ong, Johnson Poh, Gregory Foo, Tze Huang Choo, Melvin Chew, Jerome Ng, George Foo and Joshua Ho will compete in the 72-hole, stroke play Championship, which is scheduled to take place over four days on the new course at the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) from September 29th to October 2nd, 2011.
Organised by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) and supported by the Masters Tournament and The R&A, this year’s Asian Amateur Championship will comprise of up to 120 male amateurs across the 36 APGC-member countries and territories throughout the region.
Shou and Lam qualified as the two top ranked amateurs in Singapore. Both the players have been in good form this year, winning the Johor Amateur Open and the Singapore National Amateur Championship, respectively. Lam had a good run at last year’s AAC but will be looking to improve his game with the reward of qualifying for next year’s Masters.
One of the names to look out for at this year tournament will be young Marc Ong, who at 16 will be one of the youngest competitors in the field. Ong has had a fantastic few years winning the HSBC Youth Golf Challenge in 2010, as well as gaining a credible second and third placings in four tournaments already this year. He now has his sights firmly set on winning the Asian Amateur Championship 2011
Commenting on this year’s Championship, Ong said: “I think the Singapore players have an advantage playing here at the SICC, and having good course knowledge, and obviously I want to do my best in front of the home crowd. It is a very tough field, with the best players from Asia, Australia and New Zealand, so I want to ensure I play to the best of my abilities against the best in the world.”
The APGC, the Masters Tournament and The R&A created the Asian Amateur Championship in 2009 to help develop golf in Asia and provide a focal point for the amateur game in a part of the world where the game’s growth offers potential. Uniquely, an invitation to play in the 2012 Masters Tournament awaits the winner of the Asian Amateur Championship, while both the winner and the runner(s)-up will earn a place in the International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship next year.
In the previous two Championships, Han Chang-Won of Korea was victorious at the inaugural event in China, followed by Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who won on home soil outside Tokyo last year. Matsuyama, who will return to the 2011 Asian Amateur Championship to defend his title, took full advantage of his Masters invitation by claiming low amateur honors at the 2011Tournament, finishing in a tie for 27th.