The world of sport has been dealt a huge blow this year as many events and activities were derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Golf, however, has emerged as a beacon of light with its ability to adapt to safe distancing rules. In Singapore, the social game returned with a vengeance to golf courses around the island as soon the restrictions were eased back in mid-June.
However, there has as yet been no avenue for elite competitive golf. All that is about to change with the EFG Singapore Junior Masters 2020 which tees off at Laguna National Golf & Country Club from November 30 to December 2.
To be played on Laguna National’s highly-rated Masters Course, the World Amateur Golf Ranking points-earning tournament will be the first international golf event to be held in the island state since the lock down. Strict safety management measures will be observed and enforced throughout the three-day tournament.
Organised by LLD Sports Development and Management, the event will provide top junior golfers with an avenue to test themselves against each other and gain access to major junior and amateur tournaments such as the China Amateur Open and Singapore Ladies Masters 2021.
Open to players aged 19 and under as of January 1st, 2020, the tournament will see a field of 74 players (47 boys and 27 girls) representing Singapore, Malaysia, China, India, USA, UK, Germany and South Korea. All of them are Singapore residents.
Team Singapore will be spearheaded by Shannon Tan (+3.3 hcp), Sean Lee (+4.5 hcp) and Brandon Han (+2.1 hcp). In the U14 Division, Daryl Low, Brayden Lee, and sisters Jaymie and Denise Ng, and Guo Jun Xi are tipped to vie for the Under 14 title. The youngest players in the field will be 8-year-old Freya Kylie Lim (14.0 hcp) and 9-year-old Passion Hsu (15.8 hcp).
In addition to title sponsor EFG Bank, the tournament has the backing of other companies like adidas, Titleist, Oakley, Fenix Xcell, Golf & Leisure, Big Fish Golf, Clicgear and Cartimes Automobile.
Lyn Yeo, founder and managing director of LLD Sports Development and Management, was keen to put this tournament together as soon as it was deemed safe to do so.
“(Junior) Players in our neighbouring countries have all resumed tournaments and their players were all forging ahead. I was determined to get an event off the ground for our Singapore-based players as our top players are starved of competition,” said Yeo, who is also president of the Singapore Ladies Golf Association (SLGA).
Having previously served as chairperson of the committee dedicated to junior golf development at the Singapore Golf Association (SGA) from 2016 to 2020, Lyn was instrumental in launching the junior development program and forming the first SGA Junior Squad in 2017 and the Junior Development Squad in 2020.
Laguna National chairman Peter Kwee, known for his support of women’s and junior golf, was quick to approve hosting the 54-hole tournament at the internationally-acclaimed Masters Course.
Albert Chiu, head of Asia Pacific region of EFG International and chairman of the EFG Young Athlete Foundation, echoed the need to support young golfers. “EFG has a long tradition of nurturing young sporting talent. We are extremely pleased that EFG Bank has played a major role in developing locally born and bred world-class athletes since its establishment,” he said.
“2020 is also the 20th anniversary of EFG Asia and the 25th anniversary of EFG Group. To better serve our clients and to cope with our expansion, EFG is excited to relocate to its Singapore office to better serve our clients. We look forward to expanding our Singapore business by welcoming on board some of the most experienced bankers in the country, all the while enhancing our coverage of Asia,” Chiu added.