Since 2008, the annual Warren Amateur Open has provided a competitive playing environment for amateur golfers in Singapore and around the region.
Conceptualised by 2008 Club Captain Mr Vincent Tan and Vice-Captain Mr Steve Poh, the Warren Amateur Open was to be a platform for amateurs to gain valuable experience and a place to hone their skills as they progress to higher levels of the sport.
Celebrating it’s 10th edition this year, the R&A World Amateur Ranking Event will take place on 4 – 6 July at Warren Golf & Country Club’s 18-hole championship course, renovated barely a year ago.
Over the years, the playing field boasts participants from as far afield as France, UK and USA, to those around the Asia Pacific like Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand.
This year, the Warren-MST Amateur Open 2018 will see the continuation of the Junior Category, started in last year’s edition, to attract young and upcoming talent. This follows the battle cry from the Singapore Golf Association (SGA) to promote the local junior golfing scene.
Beginning in 2001, the Warren Junior Golf Programme was started with the primary objective to provide the opportunity to train and develop junior golfers.
Managed by Muru Golf Academy, the programme has been steadily growing over the years with events such as the Warren Junior Golf Competitions and Junior Offsite Camps.
Notable alumni include national golfers Marc Ong, Jacqueline Young, Edgar Oh, Justin Han and Jonathan Leong.
From the Warren-MST Amateur Open, any surplus will go towards funding for the Warren Junior Golf Programme.
Taking place a week before the Singapore Open Amateur Championships, the Warren-MST Amateur provides a great opportunity for overseas golfers to participate in both tournaments while in Singapore.
The Warren-MST Amateur Open has been a stepping stone for quality players, with numerous past champions turning professional and representing Singapore on international grounds.
National golfer Marc Ong is a Warren member and three-time winner of the Warren Amateur Open, having won in 2010, 2013 and 2017.
In 2017, Ong was also part of the first golf gold medal team at the SEA Games. As of January this year, he has turned professional.
For the women, national golfer Koh Sock Hwee has appeared four times on the HSBC Women’s Champions roster and recently competed in the Sun Car Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Classic. Koh is a 2015 SEA Games Individual Bronze medallist and two-time winner of the Warren Amateur Open (2011, 2015).
Shannon Tan, another Warren Junior and SGA Development Squad Member, won the Ladies’ Division of the Warren Amateur Open last year. At 14 years old, Tan is the youngest player to qualify for the inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship at Sentosa Golf Club earlier in the year.
Other notable champions include Jonathan Woo, Koh Dengshan and Michelle Koh who have all turned professional, as well as SEA Games Gold Medalists Gregory Foo and Joshua Ho.
For the third year, golf retailer MST Golf will return as title sponsor, along with Muru Golf Academy as the main sponsor. Genting Hotel Jurong will be this year’s Official Hotel.
Prior to 2015, automotive brand Ford was the title sponsor for three years.
“Although the golfing population in Singapore is declining, the Warren Amateur Open has seen an increasing number of golfers every year coming from different countries.” says Dato Loh Ah Joo, Managing Director of MST Golf Singapore.
Despite a seemingly dampening market, MST Golf opened a 5,000 sq ft superstore in Suntec City last September that is designed to be a one-stop shop offering an extensive range of golf retail and club fitting services.
At this year’s edition, MST is sponsoring a complete Yamaha Limited Edition Inpres X Classic golf set worth $25,000 as hole-in-one prize, along with numerous tournament prizes such as golf equipment and cash sponsorship.
As Official Hotel, Genting Hotel Jurong will be offering special room rates for overseas players that are flying in specially for the Warren-MST Amateur Open. In addition, Warren Golf and Country Club will also reimburse transportation fees to the tournament venue.
Aside from 2016 when the event was skipped due to the ongoing course renovations, the tournament is slated to be an annual event with plans for growth.
Maintaining the same registration fees as last year, all-inclusive entry fees are set at S$200, with a special rate of S$120 for Warren members.
Entry forms are available at www.warren.org.sg and www.sga.org.sg. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.