AFTER the fifth round of The Business Times Corporate Golf League, defending champions Team SunMoon continued their charge towards the 2013 title with another top-scoring display on the new course
at the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC). A total of 117 placed them at the top among competing teams in the round, as with last week, when the fourth round was played at Tanah Merah Country Club.
Aside from remaining comfortably at the top of the ladder, they were awarded a Lalique Crystal Trophy sponsored by Lalique Crystal Singapore and a bottle of Clan Gold Whisky sponsored by 6 Drunk Men. Integral to their score was the superb 38 from team captain Ivan Chua. "It was the first time my score has contributed this year, and I think home course knowledge came into play," he said.
The team have yet to finalise their team members for the final round, which will be played on Sentosa Golf Club's challenging Serapong course. Mr Chua noted that the rules this year cap it at 40 stableford points per player in the league and take into account three players' scores; this means the maximum is 120 points per team.
"In reality, we know what we have to shoot to win it, but doing it is another matter, especially on a course like Serapong," he said, adding that the course is extremely hard to score on but has great conditions and is a nice venue to host the final game and dinner.
"We're confident, but in the beautiful game of golf, anything can happen. A lot of natural elements and components come into play and it's very unpredictable!"
After Thursday's round at SICC, each team were able to discount their worst round of the competition. The rules this year stipulate that at the end of the fifth round, each team's total cumulative score will be adjusted by taking the scores of only the best four rounds. The score from the sixth (and final) round will then be added to that score. The team with the highest cumulative score after the sixth rounds will be the winner of the tournament
Seagull Gayatri United had the second best score of the round (115) and remains in second spot with 457. Team Citi rose from fifth place to third with a total of 448. Team Park Hotel Group is fourth with 446, after scoring its first sub-100 round of 98; Team SPH Sultans of Swing are in fifth position with 443.
M S Maniam of Seagull Gayatri said: "Ajaib Haridass played very well today and I did too. I scored 39 points. The four of us played well today." The team have been aiming for a top-three position, so maintaining the second placing is something he is pleased about. Going into the final round, there will be a new team line-up which will include team captain Sebastian Cheng.
"We are going to practise hard and focus. We are going to have one practice round as well. The whole team is going to play at Sentosa. "In addition to the four competing, we have bought two social flights as well," Mr Maniam said.
At the post-round dinner, a number of novelty and lucky draw prizes were given out, courtesy of generous sponsors such as Audi Singapore, Park Hotel Group, Titleist and Ambient Lounge. Stanley Gan from Team Centurion struck his ball Nearest to Pin (120cm) on hole No 6 and won a three-day, two-night stay at Datai Langkawi Beach Villa, with return flight tickets for two persons and two rounds of golf sponsored by Destination Resorts & Hotels. Team Citi's Martin Watson had a mammoth drive of 260m to claim the longest drive prize on hole No 7 - dining vouchers worth $80 each at Open House Restaurant (Grand Park Orchard), Indulge at Park (Grand Park City Hall) and Brizo Restaurant (Park Hotel Clarke Quay); the total of $240 in vouchers came from the Park Hotel Group.
Showing it was clearly Team SunMoon's night, Mr Chua achieved nearest to line (driving his ball on the line) on hole No 16 and added another club to his bag - a vokey design wedge sponsored by Titleist.
While no hole-in-one prizes were claimed - and these ranged from an Audi A3 Sportback to a watch to a golfing holiday in Spain, a number of players went home with lucky draw prizes from the generous sponsors.
These included a Coolcore hamper, SKINS vouchers, complimentary return limousine service to the final game sponsored by Audi Singapore and weekend stays in Park Hotel Group's Singapore properties. A charity drive has been incorporated in the League, and, in conjunction with Singapore Pools, the Tote Board and Singapore Turf Club, The Business Times hopes to raise funds for ChildAid, an annual charity concert now in its ninth year. Jointly organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times, the concert puts Singapore's performing talents aged below 19 on stage to raise money for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund.
The final game of the 2013 Business Times Corporate Golf League will tee off on Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course on Oct 3. For more information, visit www.btgolf.com.sg.