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AG2018: Golfers proud to fly Singapore flag despite missing out on medals

26 August 2018
Philip Goh


Winning the SEA Games team gold last year in Kuala Lumpur was a grand achievement but going up against the continent’s top amateurs was a different ball game altogether.

Gregory Foo, Abdul Hadi Uda Thith, Low Wee Jin and Joshua Ho gave their best over four days of competition at the Pondok Indah Golf and Country Club in Jakarta but had to be contented with a ninth-place finish overall in the team competition that was won by Japan.

In individual standings, Gregory Foo was pleased to have achieved his best-ever finish in his third and final Asian Games outing. The 24-year-old’s 4-under-par 284 was good for a share on eighth place.


Gregory FooTeam Singapore golfer Gregory Foo in action. Photo: Sport Singapore


For Gregory, it has been a good week although the Nanyang Technological University Sports Science and Management graduate felt he could have done better.

“The course is in great shape and definitely score-able. It placed a lot of premium on accuracy as you’d be punished if you find the rough,” said Gregory.

Having started the final day in joint-seventh position in the individual standings, Gregory knew he needed to hunt for birdies to have a chance to medal. In the end, he could only manage an even-par 72, offsetting three birdies with an equal number of bogeys.

“I knew I needed a low score but I couldn’t consistently get the ball close enough to the pin,” he added.

Still, not many golfers in Singapore can boast of representing the nation in three editions of the Asiad, having a SEA Games team gold, a Putra Cup win and two Singapore amateur titles as part of the resume.

“It is always special to wear the flag and it has been a privilege and honour to be out here,” said Gregory, who will be heading to the Asian Tour Qualifying School at the end of the year, with a view of turning professional.

“It is so easy to take all of this for granted. We are always mindful that we’re playing for the nation, playing for the people back home who’ve supported us through our sporting endeavours.

“This week in Jakarta has given me plenty of confidence and the knowledge that I have what it takes to compete with the best out there.”


Abdul Hadi Abdul Hadi focused on the green. Photo: Sport Singapore


As for Abdul Hadi who will also be turning pro in the coming months, this Asiad has given him plenty of positives, as he bounced back from a poor start in round one which saw him six-over after the opening nine holes.

“I’m pleased with how I played all week especially how I came back from that poor start,” said the 23-year-old, who finished on even-par and joint-20th overall.

“There were ups and downs but my ball striking was good, especially in my third round when was I able to hit really close to the pin."

Asked what golf meant to him, Abdul Hadi, who first picked up a golf club as a two-year-old, said: “I like it so much because it’s rewarding when you see the results from the time you put into practice. For sure, there are lows but when you play well, it’s such a great feeling walking off the course.”

Team Singapore’s other golfers at these games were Joshua Ho, 24, who finished tied-44th and 25-year-old Low Wee Jin who finished tied-47th.

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Tags: Major Games

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