Banker David Seow flew the flag high for Singapore when he clinched the Division E (20.5-25.4 handicap) title at the World Golfers Championship in Durban, South Africa on Friday.
The 29-year-old is the first Singaporean since 2008 to clinch an individual accolade at the prestigious amateur tournament. Darren Lim (0-5 handicap) and Francis Tan (11-15) won their respective divisions six years ago in Florida, United States, while Nicklaus D'Cruz won the individual title in the WGC International Championship in Hua Hin in 2009.
Taking into account his handicap, Seow carded a 263 total in the four-day event to take home the title. Despite holding the lead going into Friday's final round, the commodities banker was worried that he could might not secure the win.
He said: "I was very scared that I couldn't match up to my reduced handicap, and it was easy for someone with a higher handicap to shoot a good round and catch up with me."
He also had to deal with the distraction of reporting on his Swiss third-round flightmate for signing for a lower score than he played, and playing the final round on Friday without breakfast.
He said: "We had to meet the tournament director at 6am on the fourth day, and the atmosphere was pretty tense given we had different views of what happened. It didn't help that a monkey stole my breakfast from my cart. It was a funny moment. But I had a bit of gastric pain so I was worried about going without breakfast."
Luckily for him, he managed to stay focused to shoot his personal best round of golf with a gross score of 80 for a superb nett score of 63 at the Mount Edgecombe Golf Course after nett scores of 68, 70 and 62 in earlier rounds.
His heroics helped Team Singapore - which included four other golfers in Cody Lim, Sushminder Singh, Ko Yeo and Tan Horng Chiang - finish second in the team standings with a nett 1,149 score, behind winners South Africa (1,137). The United States were third on 1,153.