SINGAPORE - Veteran administrator Low Teo Ping's 11th hour withdrawal on Wednesday evening cleared the way for his rival Ross Tan to be elected as the new Singapore Golf Association (SGA) president.
This was the first time in its 55-year history that the SGA presidency had been contested by more than one candidate and the 13-member governing council had been due to vote for either Low, who is Sentosa Golf Club president, or Tan, captain at Jurong Country Club.
The 71-year-old Low was formerly the sailing chief and now helms the Singapore Rugby Union and lesser-known Singapore Snowboarding and Skiing Association.
He decided to drop out of the two-horse race about 30 minutes before the annual general meeting at Singapore Island Country Club began.
The retired banker, who is also Singapore's chef de mission for next month's Olympic Games in Rio and a Singapore National Olympic Council vice-president, cited his full plate of responsibilities for the decision.
He said: "I've thought about this for the last month (nominations closed on June 20) and finally decided that with all my other commitments at the moment, it would be hard to devote my full attention to the SGA as well."
Tan, a 59-year-old businessman, vowed to carry out his plans to make golf accessible to everyone and develop the pipeline for local talent.
He replaces incumbent Bob Tan, 63, who served three two-year terms - the maximum allowed under the SGA's constitution - and leaves an association with annual revenue of $1.5 million and about $4 million in reserves, both totals significantly higher than when he took over in 2010.