Golf: Best finish lifts Gregory Foo's hopes for Asian Games, good week for Choo Tze Huang too

A credible showing at the SMBC Singapore Open puts local golfer Gregory Foo in good stead for Asian Games in August. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Stewards raised their hands to signal for silence, waving to catch the attention of the crowd around Serapong's 18th hole, but the noise in the background did not subside.

After the Asian Tour's reigning Order of Merit winner Gavin Green missed his putt, chatter fell to a hush, even before the same stewards could move.

Gregory Foo was lining up his final putt of the SMBC Singapore Open, and it was clear that the Singaporean amateur had the backing of the crowd at Sentosa Golf Club.

The 24-year-old nailed the birdie putt for a two-over 73 and a four-under 280 total to ended tied 16th - his best in four attempts - putting him in good stead for August's Asian Games in Indonesia where he will again fly the Republic's flag.

Countryman Choo Tze Huang (70) was 16th too, a spot they shared with seasoned professionals such as China's No. 1 Liang Wenchong, second-round co-leader Chapchai Nirat of Thailand and Japanese heart-throb Ryo Ishikawa. The group were 10 shots behind winner Sergio Garcia, who blitzed the field with a 14-under total.

Two other Singaporean golfers Jesse Yap and Koh Dengshan finished joint 33rd (71, 284) and joint 66th (76, 294) respectively.

"It's nice to finish with a birdie on the last, it'll make lunch taste better," said Foo, chuckling.

"Overall I'm really happy how the week went, and the way I handled myself. This is definitely my best finish and there were a lot of positives. It gives me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year."

Foo, Singapore's top amateur golfer, carded a 288 on the same course to finish 59th last year. The best performance by a Singaporean at the national open came in 1995 when current Singapore Professional Golfers' Association president M. Murugiah took fourth place at the SICC Bukit course.

"The Singapore Open is one event I always want to do well at. I'm a Singaporean - the goal is to win it one day," said Foo, who will turn his attention to amateur events leading up to the Asiad.

Like Foo, Choo can also reflect on a job well done in the last four days.

"I gave myself chances to make a couple of birdies, but I didn't convert on my last six holes," said the 31-year-old of his final round.

"I think I missed out on my initial top-10 goal by one or two shots, but it was still a good week."

Finishing above the likes of 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and three-time PGA Tour winner Pat Perez would surely be considered a good week.

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