Singapore: Friendships will take a back seat when Elite Women’s Squad members Callista Chen, Jacqueline Young and Erika Layson face-off in next week’s Faldo Series Singapore Championship.
Chen and Young joined forces in the Singapore team that competed in this year’s Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia and along with Layson are among a seven-strong group rated as the Island Republic’s outstanding female players.
However, it will be individual glory that they will be chasing when the 10th leg of the 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season tees-off at Raffles Country Club’s Palm Course on Monday.
As well as competing for top honours in the Girls’ Under-21 Division, Chen and Young are expected also to contend for the overall title in the 54-hole event that is included as part of The R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking schedule.
All age group winners will qualify for the 12th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam, in March, 2018.
Young is seeking a third appearance in the Grand Final, having competed in 2015 and 2016, when the event was staged at China’s Mission Hills.
When she triumphed in the Faldo Series Singapore Championship at Raffles Country Club in 2015, Young earned the distinction of becoming the first female winner of the tournament that was inaugurated in 2006.
Among those that Young and Chen will be especially wary of is Layson. As a member at Raffles Country Club, she will be hoping to make the most of local knowledge and mount a successful defence of the Girls’ Under-16 Division title she won on a countback from Denise Wong Mei Yan last year after a thrilling final-day duel between the duo.
Leading the male challenge is Lucius Toh Zheng Xian, part of the country’s Elite Men’s Squad, and a host of representatives from the Development Squad, including Ryan Wong, Louis Tee, Andre Chong and Donovan Lee.
From the Junior Squad is 14-year-old Sean Lee, who made it to the final of this month’s Laguna National Golf and Country Club Match Play Championship.
Six-time Major champion Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “I’m pleased to see a field of more than 60 players for this year’s Faldo Series Singapore Championship, which was one of the original legs of the Faldo Series Asia. My thanks go to the Singapore Golf Association for their support and their continued efforts to develop the game.”
The 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships are being staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
Hainan Island, China: Yalong Bay Golf Club, one of China’s best-known and most prolific tournament venues, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation.