Foo wins Putra Cup title as S'pore take 2nd spot

Gregory Foo's 281 total secured the Putra Cup individual crown by a four-shot margin. Thailand clinched their 17th team title in the 55th edition of the annual tournament.
Gregory Foo's 281 total secured the Putra Cup individual crown by a four-shot margin. Thailand clinched their 17th team title in the 55th edition of the annual tournament.PHOTO COURTESY OF SINGAPORE GOLF ASSOCIATION

He is Singapore's top amateur golfer after winning July's Singapore Open Amateur Championship.

Now, Gregory Foo can lay claim to being the region's top amateur too, after adding the Putra Cup individual title to his growing list of triumphs yesterday.

The 21-year-old carded a seven-under 281 to clinch a four-stroke win at the Singha Park Golf Club in Khon Kaen, Thailand.

He finished with an even-par 72 in his final round to fend off Thai challengers Witchayanon Chothirunrungrueng (285) and Kammalas Namuangruk (286).

He becomes the sixth Singaporean to have won the prestigious South-east Asian amateur tournament, after Phua Thin Kiay (1967), Mardan Mamat (1993), Choo Tze Huang (2006, 2011), Quincy Quek (2007) and Jonathan Woo (2012).

"I was a little nervous and jumpy today. I hit some loose shots and made some mistakes but I managed to recover from it," he said.

"But it is definitely my biggest individual win so far."

Having taken the lead from the second round, Foo knew he had to withstand the advances of the Thai golfers for two days before he could taste victory.

His solution? Focus on trying to help his Singapore team overtake the formidable Thais in the team competition.

The Singapore Putra Cup team - consisting of Foo, Abdul Hadi, Joshua Ho and Marc Ong - finished second with an 884 total.

The Thais won on 857 while Malaysia came in third with 908.

"The pressure was definitely on the back of my mind but I just tried to focus on doing well to improve the team score," added Foo.

"Thailand were just too strong this week and they played really well.

"I knew we were quite far behind (in the team competition) going into the last day, so I just wanted to at least finish off and try to win that individual event for Singapore."

Foo is aiming to cap his stellar year by doing well in next month's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Hong Kong.

"It is the biggest amateur event in the Asia-Pacific region and I will be hoping to build on what I have been doing and staying confident," said the golfer.

"It can be quite windy in Hong Kong so I will be practising my shots and controlling the trajectory and height of my shots.

"I have to play my game and be patient like today."

Jeremy Lim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'Foo wins Putra Cup title as S'pore take 2nd spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe