ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Singaporean Hiroshi’s Historic Win Hailed

Hiroshi Tai has secured starts in this year’s US Open and the 2025 Masters Tournament following his historic win in the NCAA Division 1 Individual Championship. Picture by Singapore Golf Association.

California, United States: Hiroshi Tai was the toast of Singapore after winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 Men’s Individual Championship.

In so doing he has earned starts in this year’s US Open as well as the Masters Tournament in 2025. He’ll be the first Singaporean to play in the two men’s Major championships.

Tai’s one-shot victory over six players at the Omni La Costa North Course in Carlsbad, California also meant he is the first Asian player to win the NCAA title in its 127-year history.

With the revised qualification criteria for the Masters tournament, the 22-year-old has earned his spot to Augusta National as the reigning NCAA Division I individual champion after the Georgia Tech sophomore closed with a final round one-under-par 71 for a winning total of three-under 285.

Tai finished his final round nearly two hours before the last flight. He led by four shots at one stage but made a triple-bogey on the par-three eighth, his penultimate hole. He composed himself to make what proved to be a decisive par-save on the ninth, his final hole.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking, but winning the individual championship means a lot to me,” said the 22-year-old, who began the week in 70th place in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

“All the guys on the team have really helped me a lot in my past 2½ years here. That includes not just the six guys here but all the guys back home as well. They are the best friends in my life, and I am really grateful for the relationships,” added Tai, who finished 14th in his sole appearance in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at China’s Sheshan International in 2019.

“Congratulations to Hiroshi, his family, and his support team for this remarkable achievement,” said Joshua Ho, General Manager of the Singapore Golf Association, an Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

Ho added: “His par save on the last hole, following a challenging triple-bogey on his 17th hole, demonstrated his maturity and mental resilience – attributes that have been key to his success over the years.

“It is indeed also a proud day for Singapore golf and we are beyond thrilled that Hiroshi has won this prestigious event and earned his place at the US Open and Masters.

“He also played a crucial role in getting his college, Georgia Tech, to qualify for the quarter-final of the team championship. We wish him and his team all the best in the team event.”

Tai, who spent two years in the Singapore Navy before enrolling at Georgia Tech, picked up golf after his parents brought him to the Bukit range at Singapore Island Country Club when he was four years old.

He is only the fourth player from Georgia Tech to win the NCAA individual national title and the first since Troy Matteson in 2002. The other Georgia Tech individual champions were Charlie Yates (1934) and Watts Gunn (1927).

“Adding my name to that list is awesome,” Tai said.

Other previous winners of the NCAA individual championship include Major champions Ben Crenshaw, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson.

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