The first time Samir Bedi represented Singapore at the World Amateur Golfers Championship (WAGC) World Finals, he forged bonds with countrymen and those from foreign lands, and even finished near the top of the leaderboard.
For the second year in a row, the 40-year-old will wear national colours at the Oct 20-28 World Finals of the prestigious amateur tournament in Johor and he is raring to do the country proud.
Yesterday, Bedi earned the right after carding a six-over 78 at The Els Club Desaru Coast's Valley course to top Division A (handicap 0 to 5.4) of the WAGC Singapore qualifiers. The finals will be played over four days on four courses across Johor - Forest City Golf Resort, Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club, Palm Resort Golf & Country Club and The Els Club. Singapore were crowned champions in Durban, South Africa in 2016.
"At the 2017 Finals (in Kuala Lumpur), my best memory was representing the nation, walking with the Singapore flag on my shirt - it's a memory that's etched for life," said the partner at Ernst and Young. "I finished third in Division A last year and I was pretty happy with that but, this time, I want to go one or two better."
The others in Singapore's five-man team are Teo Hock Guan (Div B), Ricky Huang Chin Leng (Div C), Patrick Low (Div D) and Ong Siew Yong (Div E).
Low is looking forward to making his finals debut. "I want to do the country proud, and also enjoy myself while I'm there," he said.
Jacqueline Wu, who is the deputy managing director of SPH Pacom, the organisers of the WAGC Singapore qualifiers, was delighted by the commitment shown by the amateur golfers in Desaru.
Singapore's qualifiers for the World Amateur Golfers Championship Finals are from far left:
DIVISION A (HANDICAP 0-5.4)
Samir Bedi: 78 (score)
DIVISION B (5.5-10.4)
Teo Hock Guan: 87
DIVISION C (10.5-15.4)
Ricky Huang Chin Leng: 87
DIVISION D (15.5-20.4)
Patrick Low: 94
DIVISION E (20.5-25)
Ong Siew Yong: 107
"What we really hope to see is that our efforts can help to build the golfing community in Singapore and give a bit of prestige to the amateur game," she said.
"The aim is to grow the sport and inspire more amateur golfers to take their game to the next level."
The Singapore qualifiers were backed by Under Armour. Adrian Chai, the chief marketing officer of Triple Pte Ltd - the exclusive distributor for the sports apparel brand in South-east Asia - said: "From a brand perspective, Under Armour always wants to make our athletes better with our equipment, primarily to enhance an athlete's performance from the physical aspect to the mental.
"Hopefully, our local amateurs can perform better and do us proud at the finals."