Top amateur golfers for Sentosa

Serapong (left) is No. 58 in Golf Digest's World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The New Tanjong, meanwhile, will be ready next month after a $32 million renovation. It will host the next two editions of the Women's Champions and now the 2018 AAC as wel
Serapong (above) is No. 58 in Golf Digest's World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses. The New Tanjong, meanwhile, will be ready next month after a $32 million renovation. It will host the next two editions of the Women's Champions and now the 2018 AAC as well.ST FILE PHOTO

Prestigious 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur C'ship will be played at refurbished New Tanjong Course

After making its way into Golf Digest's decorated list of the World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses for the first time in January, Sentosa Golf Club (SGC) has added another feather in its cap.

The club's newly-renovated $32 million par-72 New Tanjong Course will host the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC), the 10th edition of the annual event which is considered to be one of the most prestigious amateur tournaments in the world.

It will be held from Oct 4-7, 2018, AAC organisers announced yesterday, and the winner will earn a coveted invitation into the 2019 US Masters and both winner and runner-up will gain a spot in The British Open Qualifying Series for the 2019 Open at Royal Birkdale.

SGC president Low Teo Ping said: "The opportunities afforded to the amateurs who compete in this event are truly life-changing. It will be an honour to welcome young players from across the region to Sentosa Golf Club, where we believe their talents will be appropriately displayed and challenged."

The AAC is one of the world's most televised amateur golf tournament. Three hours of live broadcast for all four competition days is beamed to more than 160 countries, including the United States and across many European and Asian countries.

This will be the second time after 2011 that the Republic is hosting the AAC. That edition was held at Singapore Island Country Club and was won by Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, who is a two-time PGA Tour winner and currently ranked 18th in the world.

Other past winners include China's Guan Tianlang, who won the 2012 edition and became famous for making the cut at the 2013 Masters. At 14 years and five months, he was the youngest golfer to achieve this feat.

Singapore Golf Association president Ross Tan said: "After seeing the 2011 AAC bring more people to the game of golf in Singapore, we are thrilled to welcome back this special championship.

"The AAC opens doors for amateur golfers throughout our region and inspires others to embrace the sport and grow their skills. We look forward to building upon the development of the game in the years to come by hosting the AAC and supporting its continued impact on golf in the Asia-Pacific."

SGC is also home to the award-winning Serapong, 58th in Golf Digest's rankings and the highest-ranked among courses in South-east Asia.

Among the many high-profile golf tournaments that have been held at SGC include the US$1 million (S$1.37 million) SMBC Singapore Open and the US$1.5 million HSBC Women's Champions.

Work started on the New Tanjong layout last year and it will be ready next month. It will host the next two editions of the Women's Champions event, which regularly attracts a world-class field of the top female golfers.

Established in 2009 by Augusta National Golf Club and The R&A, which is golf's ruling authority except in the United States and Mexico, hosting of the AAC is rotated around clubs in this region and the tournament is currently being staged at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea.

National golfer Joshua Ho yesterday fired an opening round of one-under 71 to sit joint 10th, six shots back of leader Cameron Davis of Australia. Singapore's other representatives in the 118-man international field are Gregory Foo (72), James Leow (76) and Jesse Yap (79).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2016, with the headline 'Top amateur golfers for Sentosa'. Print Edition | Subscribe