ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Singaporean Trio Book Laguna National Date

Laguna National Executive Director Kevin Kwee (far left) and Porsche Singapore Classic Executive Championship Director Patrick Bowers (far right) with the three qualifiers.

Singapore: Singaporeans swept all three qualifying spots for next month’s Porsche Singapore Classic at Laguna National Golf Resort Club.

Nicklaus Chiam won the 18-hole qualifying tournament and will be joined in the DP World Tour event by fellow professional Joshua Yap and teenager Irvyn Tan, who was the leading Singaporean amateur.

“Laguna National has a long tradition of supporting and nurturing Singaporean golf talent,” said Kevin Kwee, Executive Director of Laguna National Golf Resort Club, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“Our ultimate goal is to see a male Singaporean playing on the global stage. This chance to host the qualifier for the Porsche Singapore Classic is just another example of our commitment to provide the opportunity for Singaporeans to earn their way into a prestigious championship, possibly serving as a kick-start to their future golf career,” added Kwee.

The 28-year-old Chiam, who topped the leaderboard with a one-under 71 which included four birdies against three bogeys, said: “I’m very excited and can’t wait for the tournament to begin. I’m very fortunate to have played really well today and to make it through to the Porsche Singapore Classic.

“For the next few weeks, I’m just going to do I what I’ve been doing – practice and play as much as possible.”

Yap, who turned professional last year, carded an even-par 72 and edged out compatriot Tan and 2023 qualifier Amarin Kraivixien of Thailand in a three-way play-off for the second qualifying spot.

By virtue of finishing as Singapore’s top amateur, 18-year-old Tan earned the third and final qualifying spot for the US$2.5 million event from March 21-24 which kick-starts the DP World Tour’s Asian Swing.

Yap said: “Getting on the DP World Tour is my ultimate goal and this is a good step forward. (Now) it’s just about playing a bit more and working on the mental game. My goal is to try and compete and be in contention.” 

Amateur Tan said: “Qualifying for the Porsche Singapore Classic means everything to me, because I get to showcase my skills at such a big event. I’m hoping to make the cut. It would be very special for me to be the top amateur at this event.

“Before the Porsche Singapore Classic, I want to sharpen up my driving. It was a bit wild today. Once I get that fixed, it should be all good to go.” 

Among those also confirmed to line-up at the Laguna National showpiece are 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry, newly-minted DP World Tour winner Rikuya Hoshino, four-time DP World Tour winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Asian Games individual gold medallist Taichi Kho.

Porsche Singapore Classic Executive Championship Director Patrick Bowers said: “It is very important to us that the Porsche Singapore Classic promotes pathways for Singaporean talent to earn their way into our championship.

“Therefore, in collaboration with Laguna National Golf Resort Club, we have now offered, for the second year running, this opportunity for open qualifying, which guarantees Singapore will have a deserving representative in the field.

“We are delighted that this year, Singaporeans were talented enough to snag all three qualifying spots into the 2024 Porsche Singapore Classic, and we look forward to Singaporeans coming out to cheer them on during the championship week. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”

The DP World Tour returned to Singapore last year for the first time since 2014, with South African Ockie Strydom winning the 2023 edition. 

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