July 21, 2023
SINGAPORE – Singapore golfer Sydnie Ng has her grandfather to thank for her recent triumph at the Future Champions Golf (FCG) World Championship in California.
Her accidental start in the sport began when she was six, during one of her family’s weekly trips to Seletar Country Club.
They would go there to meet Sydnie’s grandfather for dinner and one Saturday, they had difficulty locating him, only to find him at the driving range.
Watching her grandfather practising at the range piqued Sydnie’s interest and she begged her mother to get a coach for her.
It took six months of convincing, but that did not stop young Sydnie from pursuing the sport. During this period, she used her grandfather’s six-iron, which he tried to get fitted for her although it was still too long for her.
The long club was upgraded to a US Kids Golf set and her love for the sport only grew stronger from there.
On Wednesday, the 12-year-old scored the biggest win of her fledgling career in the girls’ 11-12 category at the FCG World Championship as she carded a 19-under 203 total to top the 42-strong field, ahead of American Victoria Feng (204) and Thai Jadar Kiatphonsiri (205).
Singapore’s Aamiya Koul and Temperance Tan finished joint-ninth (218) and 37th (264) respectively.
Sydnie, who is in the Singapore Junior Development Tour (SJDT), said: “It felt good to be able to win FCG worlds because I achieved a new milestone, I crossed over another hurdle.
“Winning is always my goal but I just wanted to enjoy the process because playing in a championship flight with many strong players is not easy so I just wanted to do my best.”
SJDT founder Lyn Yeo said: “Sydnie is one of the most determined and disciplined young golfers I’ve ever met. She had a single-mindedness to succeed and embraced every opportunity presented to her.”
At the Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage on Wednesday, the St Margaret’s Primary School pupil went into the final round second on the leaderboard but endured a rough start as she mixed two bogeys with two birdies in the opening five holes.
Although slightly shaken, she reminded herself that she had been in similar positions before, and it was not the end of the round yet.
Then came a birdie on the par-four 16th hole, which saw Sydnie go a stroke ahead of her competitors.
She said: “I just told myself if I gave myself a chance to make the birdie putt, I would be able to give myself the opportunity to win the tournament. That’s what I did and after that I just told myself don’t slump, just keep yourself going.”
She closed out the round with two more birdies to finish the day with a six-under 68, but the victory was not confirmed as other golfers were still out on the course.
She was having lunch with her mother when they found out she won the competition, which places her in the company of past winners such as Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, a two-time Major winner, and former world No. 1 and 2021 ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit.
Other top golfers who had featured in the competition included Japanese Yuka Saso, the 2021 US Women’s Open champion and American Collin Morikawa, winner of the men’s 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 British Open.
While she is proud of her achievement, Sydnie is already looking ahead.
Once she returns to Singapore, she will focus on a few local competitions, including the National School Games, before taking some time off to focus on her PSLE.
Juggling school with her sporting commitments has been challenging at times, but the Primary 6 pupil, who admires LPGA Tour world No. 1 Ko Jin-young of South Korea, is thankful for the support she has received from the people around her.
She said: “My ultimate goal is just to play well even if my score is not the one that I wanted or expected, I would still think I played well because I did my best.
“I’m very proud of myself, but my mum did say it’s back to zero. We’re looking ahead, moving on and just trying to win.”