BY LOW LIN FHOONG IN KUALA LUMPUR
KUALA LUMPUR — Both teams have met many times on the golf course, with Thailand most recently emerging the victors over Singapore at last year’s Putra Cup at the Tanah Merah Country Club.
A rematch at the SEA Games at the Mines Resort and Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (Aug 26) finally saw the Singaporean trio of Gregory Foo, Joshua Shou, Marc Ong and Joshua Ho getting the better of their rivals, as they beat Thailand in a sudden-death play-off to win Singapore’s first-ever men’s team gold at the regional Games.
Team Singapore’s golfers last won a gold in the sport at the 1989 SEA Games, when Samson Gimson emerged tops in the individual category
The team matchplay contest saw both teams tied at one-and-a-half, with Chothirunrungrueng Witchyanon claiming the first match against Shou (4 and 2), while Foo defeated Kosuke Hamamoto (1 up).
With Ong and Kammalas Namuangruk tied at all square, the sudden death play-off between the last pair (Ong and Kammalas) was a tightly contested affair, with the players tied at two holes before Ong finally won the contest on the third hole.
The men’s team gold was also the Republic’s 43rd gold medal at the SEA Games, with the achievement equaling Singapore’s best-ever medal haul at an away Games – the Korat SEA Games – before swimmer Quah Jing Wen took the tally to 44 in the women’s 100m butterfly.
“That is nice, and really awesome,” said Ong after hearing news of the team’s achievement.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match, and Thailand knew as well that it was going to be tough.”
Ong had missed out on the individual title on Thursday (Aug 24) after losing to eventual gold medallist Hamamoto by one stroke, and revenge was particularly sweet, as he added: “We definitely believed we could win it. We see them all the time, and we played them in the Putra Cup last year and lost narrowly to them.
“We are just so happy to win Singapore’s first team gold, and we’re so happy because we worked really hard.”