Golf: Female players to the fore at EFG Singapore Junior Masters

Shannon Tan (right, with fellow participant Sean Lee) is excited to be playing in her first tournament since last December's SEA Games at the EFG Singapore Junior Masters from Nov 30 to Dec 2.
Shannon Tan (right, with fellow participant Sean Lee) is excited to be playing in her first tournament since last December's SEA Games at the EFG Singapore Junior Masters from Nov 30 to Dec 2.PHOTO: COURTESY OF LAGUNA NATIONAL

The girls have come out in force for the inaugural EFG Singapore Junior Masters, with 30 entered in the Nov 30-Dec 2 tournament at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club.

While they accounted for less than half of the 76-strong field, local junior tournaments usually see boys outnumbering girls by two to one, noted the Singapore Ladies Golf Association (SLGA).

National women's golfer Shannon Tan will compete in the open division for those aged 19 and under and the 16-year-old is looking forward to her first tournament in almost a year since the coronavirus pandemic threw the international sports calendar into disarray.

She said: "My last tournament was the SEA Games last December, so I'm excited and grateful for this opportunity to compete.

"The focus level and goals are different in competitive golf compared to a practice round.

"Competing regularly helps me raise my game, and this tournament will allow me to get back to the right environment to build up towards next year's SEA Games."

Organised by LLD Sports Development and Management, the 54-hole event comprises the open and junior (14 years and under) divisions and provides junior golfers a platform to test themselves and gain access to major junior and amateur tournaments such as the China Amateur Open and Singapore Ladies Masters 2021.

World Amateur Golf Ranking points are also up for grabs for the participants.

The tournament at Laguna's Masters Course is the first golf event to be held in Singapore since measures were put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

LLD managing director, who is also SLGA president, Lyn Yeo, had helped to secure title sponsors EFG Bank and other partners.

She said: "Junior players in our neighbouring countries have all resumed tournaments and their players were all forging ahead.

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    Girls in the field of 76 for the Singapore Junior Masters.

"I was determined to get an event off the ground for our Singapore-based players as our top players are starved of competition."

The field will feature Singapore-based players including those from Malaysia, China, India, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Also in the field are Zoie Chan, Chloe Chan and Arianna Lau, who will fly in from Hong Kong.

As the trio are travelling within the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble, they do not need to serve any quarantine and require only a negative swab test within 72 hours of departure from Hong Kong.

Other safe management measures, in accordance with guidelines from Sport Singapore and Singapore Golf Association, include a single barrel one-tee start, no mingling of groups, no spectators, no exchange of scorecards, and no removal of flagsticks.

Players will also be encouraged to play and leave and not use the changing facilities at the club.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2020, with the headline 'Girls to the fore in Junior Masters'. Print Edition | Subscribe