Golf: Shooting for success again

Singapore golfers (from left) Marc Ong, Gregory Foo, Joshua Shou and Joshua Ho are going great guns in the Putra Cup, leading Thailand in the team event by three shots entering the final day.
Singapore golfers (from left) Marc Ong, Gregory Foo, Joshua Shou and Joshua Ho are going great guns in the Putra Cup, leading Thailand in the team event by three shots entering the final day.PHOTO COURTESY OF SINGAPORE GOLF ASSOCIATION

Gregory Foo trails by two after Putra Cup 3rd round and wants to emulate Choo Tze Huang

Gregory Foo is one of only six Singaporeans to have won the Putra Cup and the golfer is bidding to join even more exalted company today.

He is aiming to become only the second Singaporean to win the prestigious South-east Asian amateur tournament twice.

Six years ago, Choo Tze Huang became the first Singaporean to win the Putra Cup on two occasions.

In round three at the Gading Raya Padang Golf and Club in Jakarta yesterday, Foo carded a six-under 66 to total 199, which put the Singaporean joint second in the individual category with Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand (67). The pair lie two shots behind Thai leader Kosuke Hamamoto (68).

"No doubt to win this event twice would be very special," said the 24-year-old, who claimed the individual title in 2015. "Choo is someone I've always respected as my senior and former team-mate, so to share such an accolade would be awesome."

Foo had birdies on the second, eighth, 10th, 14th, 16th and 18th to close the gap between himself and Hamamoto from four shots to two.

He said: "I drove the ball well today and was able to give myself a lot of birdie chances, so I was able to take advantage of that and hole some good putts.

"I managed three birdies in my last five holes, and it felt good. For the 14th, I managed to hit a 25-footer for a birdie and for the 16th, I hit a wedge to about three feet and converted.

EITHER TROPHY WILL DO

I'm sure I would feel disappointed if I don't win (the individual) but if we win the Cup as a team, that'll more than make up for it.

GREGORY FOO, who is challenging on both fronts at the Putra Cup in Indonesia.

"For the 18th, I hit my second shot just outside the green and chipped it to about five feet of the hole, and converted."

With the competition drawing to a close tomorrow, Foo feels he has put himself "in a position to win" and is "looking forward to going out and playing well again".

He added: "I know if I do that (the same as yesterday) I have a great chance of winning.

"Hamamoto is still playing good golf too, so I'm really looking forward to playing with him tomorrow."

Two other Singaporeans are in the top five. Joshua Ho finished on 68 and Marc Ong on 69 to be joint fourth with a total of 201. Joshua Shou is 14th on 212 after a 71.

The Singaporeans lead the team competition on 601, with Thailand second on 604.

National coach Andrew Welsford said: "We are certainly confident, that's why we are here - to win.

"We haven't lost the lead at any point and are in a good position to close this out.

"Greg, Marc and Joshua Ho all have the chance for the individual title and are well within range with 18 holes to go."

Finishing behind Thailand last year on home soil, Foo described the loss as "tough" but says they have "learnt from it and put that all behind us".

"I'm sure I would feel disappointed if I don't win (the individual) but if we win the Cup as a team, that'll more than make up for it.

"We're in a great position heading into tomorrow and we are very confident of getting the job done.

"Hopefully our SEA Games (team) win and another tomorrow will show that Singapore golf is more than capable of competing with our South-east Asian counterparts."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'Shooting for success again'. Print Edition | Subscribe