Golf: A driving ambition above all adversity

Sec 4 student Cheang Kai Siong posing with his Tay Cheng Khoon Eagle award with Janice Khoo (left), chairman of the Youth Golf Network, Community Youth Golf Programme, and ST sports editor Lee Yulin.
Sec 4 student Cheang Kai Siong posing with his Tay Cheng Khoon Eagle award with Janice Khoo (left), chairman of the Youth Golf Network, Community Youth Golf Programme, and ST sports editor Lee Yulin.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Cheang Kai Siong had an unfortunate start to his Chinese New Year in February last year.

On the eve of the holiday, he slipped on the wet floor at home and fell on a tea cup, which resulted in a deep gash on his right wrist.

He had to undergo surgery to repair a damaged tendon, which ruled him out of golf for about two months.

The 16-year-old Secondary 4 student said yesterday: "One thing that helped me get through that period was what I have learnt from playing golf - resilience and being mentally strong. It was not the end when that happened, and I knew that I would come back stronger."

And he did.

While most of his peers were preparing for next week's preliminary and next month's O-level examinations, Kai Siong was out on the golf course at the Orchid Country Club yesterday, playing in the final leg of the Community Youth Golf League.

The 3.2 handicapper, who drives an average of 240m off the tee, finished on six-over 79 yesterday.

  • COMMUNITY YOUTH GOLF LEAGUE 2017 RESULTS


    BOYS

    Winner: Cheang Kai Siong, Hai Sing Catholic (246)

    2nd: Jan Eduardo Jordan Franco, St Gabriel's Secondary (260)

    3rd: Dominic Ong, Tanjong Katong Secondary (265)


    GIRLS

    Winner: Joveanne Kuah, Hai Sing (291)

    2nd: Karen Foo, Hai Sing (318)

He had an overall gross score of 246 (82, 85, 79). The first two rounds were played on June 12 and July 2.

He was awarded the Tay Cheng Khoon Eagle award, an honour given to the best overall performer in the three-round golf league, and for displaying a good attitude, progress and commitment to the sport.

Kai Siong's commitment to golf even led him to switch schools - from Bedok View Secondary to Hai Sing Catholic School two years ago so that he could take up golf as a co-curricular activity.

He said: "In Secondary 1, I wasn't so serious about golf and I thought I'd just focus on my studies. But my game started to improve, and I thought I should give it a try, to train and compete in the Schools National competition."

This year, 182 youngsters from six schools took part in the programme, which aims to create opportunities for youngsters without the means to own golf club memberships to play the sport.

Now in its 21st year, it was the brainchild of the late Straits Times sports editor Tay and Peter Goh, who is the vice-chairman of the Youth Golf Programme.

Ross Tan, the president of the Singapore Golf Association who was present to give away the trophies, encouraged the budding golfers to aim high.

He told them: "There have been many national players who've gone through this programme to become elite players. For all of you, young golfers, it is really possible (too) if you love the game."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2017, with the headline 'A driving ambition above all adversity'. Print Edition | Subscribe