R&A S'pore office to help grow game

The R&A, which organises golf's oldest Major - the British Open - opened its new Asia-Pacific office at Sentosa Golf Club (SGC) yesterday.

It is part of The R&A's commitment to the growth and development of golf in the region, noted Keith Macintosh, captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland, where The R&A is headquartered.

He added: "Singapore is a hugely important centre in the region and is an ideal location for the new office. It will be central to The R&A's efforts to support the development of golf throughout Asia-Pacific."

SGC's general manager Andrew Johnston welcomes the arrival of The R&A. The club's New Tanjong course will host the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC), considered to be one of the world's most prestigious amateur tournaments.

The AAC is organised in conjunction with the Masters Tournament and The R&A.

The winner earns a coveted invitation into the next year's US Masters, and both winner and runner-up will gain a spot in The British Open Qualifying Series for the next year's Open.

The Asian Tour, which governs the multi-million dollar professional circuit in the region, is also based in Sentosa.

The R&A's director for the Asia-Pacific region, Dominic Wall, said: "The R&A holds a long association with the Sentosa Golf Club and was a logical choice for the location of the new office, given its close proximity to the headquarters of the Asian Tour and the European Tour and other sporting organisations based in Singapore."

Next year's SMBC Singapore Open has been included in The Open Qualifying Series for the first time.

Singapore Golf Association president Ross Tan believes that the presence of The R&A in the Republic would be a boon.

He said: "It gives us a chance to work directly with them, to seek funding and expertise from them in launching various junior programmes to grow the game in Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2016, with the headline 'R&A S'pore office to help grow game'. Print Edition | Subscribe