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Golf - 19. January 2009.

Singapore girls get ready for HSBC Womens Champions local Qualifying

We profile three of the players hoping to take the invite spot in Asia’s Major


Singapore For 16 year olds Amelia Yong and Cheryl Ang, school exams are over, the results are in and it’s all about golf and the chance to play in the HSBC Women’s Champions 2009.

Singapore girls get ready for HSBC Women\'s Champions local Qualifying

“I’ve finished my exams and I am playing golf every day and training hard for the HSBC Women’s Champions Local Qualifying Tournament next month,” exclaimed the 2008 Host Country Invite Amelia Yong (handicap 0.7).


The local qualifying event will take place on 5th and 6th February at Tanah Merah Country Club on the Garden Course which will host the main event one month later.


The host country invite for the HSBC Women’s Champions is an extension of HSBC’s commitment to nurturing and developing local golfing talent along with their existing Youth Programmes. The opportunity to play with world class golfers at the HSBC Women’s Champions has reinvigorated top tier female golf in Singapore and they get to experience first hand what it takes to be a champion.


Amelia held off competition from eight other entrants last year and took her place along side the best players in the world for the four day stroke play event which was won by world number one Lorena Ochoa of Mexico.


Amelia added, “It was an amazing experience for me last year and something I am aiming towards again. From the Welcome Reception to the final day of play, it was a lot of fun and it made me realise that being a professional golfer is something I can achieve if I work hard enough.”


Cheryl Ang will be entering the local qualifying for the first time this year after being inspired by her friend and club teammate Amelia’s experience last year.


“Our entire junior section from Seletar Country Club went to support Amelia last year and I was so proud of her. It is great that a local player gets to enter this international event and I would love to be the one that makes it this year,” said Cheryl.


Playing golf since the age of 12, her most significant achievement to date was winning her division of the 2007 SLGA Open and she currently plays with a handicap of 1.2. Now that she has a break from school, she is working on her game everyday.


She continued, “I am at the golf course as much as possible and everything my coach Greg Anketell teaches me, I am trying to put into practice so I am ready for this tournament.”


Also joining the line-up for the first time is 20 year old Su-Ann Heng who plays with a handicap of 1.2. Su-Ann is a member of Laguna National Golf and Country Club and took up the game at the age of nine with her family as a way of spending quality time together at weekends.


Su-Ann previously played and studied in Australia and the US and is currently studying at the School of Management in Singapore aiming to earn a double major in Finance and Marketing with one more year to go.


She explained, “I took a break from the game for a while but I am back training regularly and I thought that entering this tournament for the HSBC Women’s Champions would be an amazing experience and a lot of fun.”


Su-Ann is amongst a group of local girls who call Yani Tseng a close friend, having played with her as a junior in Singapore tournaments. The Taiwanese star will make her first appearance at the HSBC Women’s Champions in March.


“I have been friends with Yani for seven years or so and she is such a great role model for all of us here. She has taken her game to the next level. Even though she is world number two, she is still the same person and I think that is brilliant. It would be so great to play alongside her when she takes part this year as we played together many years ago.”


The closing date for entry into the HSBC Women’s Champions Qualifying Tournament is 22nd January 2009. Singaporean players who wish to submit their entries require the necessary documentation to prove their eligibility and they have the next two weeks to practice and prepare for this tournament that will give them the biggest opportunity of their golfing career. Application forms can be collected from TMCC or downloaded from www.hsbcgolf.com   or www.tmcc.org.sg .


The HSBC Women’s Champions 2009 will boast a prize money of US$2 million (US$300,000 to the winner), the largest purse for a women’s event in Asia. The HSBC Women’s Champions, sanctioned by the LPGA, will be played over 72 holes of individual stroke play with a field of 78 golfers.
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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