Golf: Great Shou of fortitude

Battling back to third in tough conditions acts as spur for team, who lead Putra Cup

Joshua Shou was six over after five holes yesterday but battled back to finish only one over. He is third in the individual event.
Joshua Shou was six over after five holes yesterday but battled back to finish only one over. He is third in the individual event. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Joshua Shou stood on the eighth tee of the Tanah Merah Country Club Garden Course yesterday with everything against him. The wind was whipping into his face, a steady drizzle was coming down, he was at a whopping six over par and he had not even completed his first nine holes.

But this was the Putra Cup, and there was much at stake - Singapore's chance to reclaim the team title on home ground for the first time in five years.

Despite his disastrous start - a bogey on the par-three third and par-four fourth as well as a quadruple-bogey nine on the par-five fifth after he lost his ball - he told himself: "One shot at a time, just try to fight for every shot. There's still a lot of golf to play."

He then proceeded to send the ball across the water, landing it just six feet from the flag on the island green of the par-three 182m eighth hole. One putt later, he had his first birdie of the day - on whose wings he progressed to four more birdies (9th, 11th, 14th and 17th) in his last 12 holes.

"It definitely made me feel a lot better after the rough start," said the 26-year-old after he finished on only one-over 71. "It just made my day - it made my week, even if I don't play well the next two days.

"Today was definitely one for the books."


    (Men; best three scores)

    415 Singapore

    416 Thailand

    427 Malaysia

    (Women; best two)

    277 Thailand

    281 Philippines

    288 Singapore

    (Under-16 men; best two)

    274 Thailand

    285 Philippines

    289 Singapore

    (Under-16 women; best two)

    290 Thailand

    295 Malaysia

    298 Philippines

Indeed. His score put him at one-under 139 and third in the individual standings, just three shots behind co-leaders Gregory Foo (69), his team-mate, and Thailand's Kammalas Namuangruk (71).

"Joshua Shou played phenomenally to come back from six over par after five holes, and to only shoot one over par shows a lot of mental fortitude," said national coach Andrew Welsford.

"I drove around and filled in all my players with the knowledge of how their other team-mates were playing, and when they all heard that he was on the way back and finished with that score, that gave the whole team a morale boost.

"That effort and that fight and that character is a big thing not just for our team, but personally for Joshua."

Singapore maintained a one-shot lead over defending champions Thailand in the team event, totalling 415. Malaysia are third on 427.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2016, with the headline ' Great Shou of fortitude'. Print Edition | Subscribe