Manila, Philippines: Singapore’s golfing fraternity is celebrating the golden performance of James Leow at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
With a brilliant closing seven-under-par 65 at the Luisita Golf & Country Club, Leow staved off the challenge of many of the region’s best amateur players to become the first Singaporean to win an individual gold medal for 30 years.
“It is an honour to represent the country in the first place, and to win a gold medal for the country, my family and friends, team-mates, coaches and managers just means a lot to me,” said Leow, who overcame a two-shot deficit entering the final round.
His 54-hole total of 13-under (68-70-65) gave him a one-shot victory over Thailand’s Tanapat Pichaikool.
National coach Matt Ballard said: “James showed impeccable discipline and composure all day during a hot final round. He was in total control of his emotions and ultimately his golf ball.”
Singapore Golf Association (SGA) High Performance Manager Joshua Ho attributed precise iron play and mental toughness under immense pressure as key factors to setting up birdie opportunities which Leow converted.
The only other Singaporean to win individual SEA Games gold was Samson Gimson, who achieved the feat in 1989.
In a statement, the SGA said: “This milestone was only possible because of the tremendous support that all golf clubs and golfers in Singapore gave to our team. We would like to sincerely thank everyone, and we look forward to the team event which kick-starts tomorrow.”