SEA Games 2019:Golfer James Leow breaks 30-year drought
07 December 2019
By Angelina Dass
A historic Day 6 of the 30th Southeast Asian Games saw golfer James Leow breaking through for gold in the men’s individual strokeplay event, breaking a drought that dates back to the 1989 Games in Kuala Lumpur when the last gold medal in this event was won by Samson Gimson.
30yrs in the making. (Photo Credit: SGA)
At the Luisita Golf & Country Club, 22-year-old James compiled rounds of 68,70 and an excellent closing round of 7-under 65 on Friday (6 Dec) for a total of 13-under 203. That saw him leapfrog overnight leader Tanapat Pichaikool who finished a stroke behind while another Thai, Nopparat Panichphol, was a further stroke adrift.
James, who is a sophomore at Arizona State University, said it was “surreal to finally win the individual gold medal for Team Singapore again.”
“I’m just really honoured to have the opportunity to represent Singapore and winning it with the support of my family, friends, teammates, managers and coaches just makes it way better,” he said.
James said he came into the event targeting the gold.
“There was a huge hunger level in me before the tournament and I wanted to play the best I could,” said James, who is competing in the SEA Games for the first time.
Naming the team from Thailand as his strongest competitors, James said he knew it would not be easy to beat them.
“I’ve been intensive with my practice and workouts, being really disciplined with my daily routines. I was precise about my practice, working specifically on what I needed to and translating that out on the golf course,” he added.
SEA Games gold in the bag, James now turns his attention to the Australian Masters of the Amateurs in January, and the win in Manila is a real confidence booster as he now knows “he has the game to play in any event”.