Region’s best amateur golfers swing into Singapore

Catch up-and-coming golf talents at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club this October

The 10th edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC), held in Sentosa Golf Club,  will feature 120 players from 39 countries. PHOTO: AAC
The 10th edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC), held in Sentosa Golf Club, will feature 120 players from 39 countries. PHOTO: AAC

If you have been interested in golf but have never had the opportunity to watch a live tournament, this is your chance.

The 10th edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) will feature 120 players from 39 countries. This is the most significant amateur golf event in the region, and this year marks the second time it has been hosted in Singapore.

Held from Oct 4 to 7 at the Sentosa Golf Club’s New Tanjong Course, the tournament is sure to be an exciting and memorable occasion.

Attractive prizes

The AAC continues to attract the region’s top men’s amateur golf talent, with 17 out of the 120 players listed among the top 100 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

Players will vie for the champion’s prize: an invitation to the Masters Tournament (one of the four major championships in professional golf) at Augusta National Golf Club in the United States (US), and a place in The 148th Open (the oldest championship in golf) at Royal Portrush in the United Kingdom, both in 2019.

The runner(s)-up will gain a spot in The Open Qualifying Series and have a chance to play in The Open when it returns to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years in 2019.

Last year's AAC champion, Lin Yuxin, poses with his trophy. PHOTO: AAC

This championship was started in 2009 by the Masters Tournament, The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC). Today, it has established itself as one of the most elite international amateur golf tournaments in the world.

Says Kei Muratsu, APGC chairman: “We will celebrate a decade of hosting the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship this year and the quality of the field that we have in Singapore shows just how important this tournament has become for the region.

“The original idea of the tournament was to create heroes who would make the region proud on the world stage, and we have done that each year with exceptional champions. I am sure our Singapore champion will carry on this tradition.”

Grooming young champions

The tournament has produced some exceptional champions since its inception, including the likes of Curtis Luck, 22, an Australian golfer who turned professional in 2017, and Hideki Matsuyama, 26, who won the AAC twice consecutively in 2010 and 2011 before winning professionally on the PGA Tour five times, and is considered among the world’s best players.

Matsuyama says: “Winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, first in Japan and the following year in Singapore, had a great impact on my career.

“The opportunities the tournament provided, especially competing in the Masters Tournament, are a huge motivation to golfers in our region. The AAC made it possible for me to play alongside the top players in the world and inspired me to become the professional I am today.”

The youngest-ever AAC champion, Guan Tianlang, was only 14 when he won the tournament in 2012. He made history when he went on to compete in the Masters becoming  the youngest player to compete and make the cut.

Min Woo Lee of Perth, Australia, is the highest-ranked amateur to compete in this year's AAC. PHOTO: AAC

Support local talent

Gregory Foo, the highest-ranked player from Singapore — ranked at 111 on the WAGR — is excited and confident about the upcoming tournament. He is one of six Singaporean competitors. The others are Joshua Ho, Zhi Peng Donovan Lee, Gregory Foo, Lucius Toh, Wee Jin Low and Abdul Hadi.

Says Foo: “Most of us are very confident and excited to play in front of family and friends here in Singapore. The AAC has given amateurs like us something to dream about and aspire towards. Having it here in Singapore will have a positive impact on the game for years to come.”

The Singapore team competing at this year's AAC comprises (from left): Joshua Ho, Donovan Lee, Gregory Foo, Lucius Toh, Wee Jin Low and Abdul Hadi. PHOTO: AAC

While the AAC will be televised worldwide, you can also watch the action unfold live at Sentosa. Entry to the tournament is free and spectators are welcome.

So head down to the Sentosa Golf Club from Oct 4 to 7 to witness the prowess of some of Asia-Pacific’s finest male golfers and to cheer on the Singaporean contingent.

Who knows — you just might see a champion being made.

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