OCC hosts another successful ISPS Handa Singapore Classic
07 October 2011
By Joan Tay
11 September 2011, cheers were heard at the courses of Orchid Country Club (OCC) as crowds gathered at the greens to witness an exciting finish of the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic 2011, marking yet another successful tournament.
The Asian Tour event was held from 8 to 11 September 2011 at OCC for the second consecutive year. This year, US$100,000 will be donated to the rebuilding and relief efforts of the Japanese tsunami victims through the ISPS Handa Japan Relief Fund and OCC is honouredto be part of this charity initiative.
India’s Himmat Rai claimed an enthralling five-way play-off victory, holing a 25-foot birdie putt on the sixth extra hole to secure his maiden Asian Tour title. The 24-year-old Rai went the distance with Filipino Elmer Salvador for a toeto-toe battle before Rai nailed the winning putt.
Stars from the tournament played on an improved golf course at the OCC, as it had been converted from a par-72 to a par-70 layout. Two par-five holes, the Dendro 6 and Vanda 6 were made into par four challenges measuring at 495 yards and 451 yards respectively.
OCC General Manager Peter Goh said that the Club has left nothing to chance in their preparation for the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic 2011. He said: “Our award-winning golf course had beenfurther refined to ensure that this will be an even more competitive tournament for the players. The two converted par-four holes certainly made the course tougher. A new sand bunker was included in front of Vanda green 6 to catch errant approach shorts. A new teebox had also been constructed on Dendro 6 to lengthen the hole by about 15 metres, which posed a good test to the players.”
Turnout of the tournament for this year hit an estimated 7,000 people as compared to last year’s 5,000. A capacity crowd watched the final round and stayed for the play-offs despite the rain to catch the nail-biting finish.The tournament was covered ‘live’ on ESPN Star Sports to over 200 countries and 850 million households worldwide, which was a tremendous exposure for OCC in the international media.
This year, OCC members and partners were in for a special treat as the Club had an exclusive hospitality marquee for them to have an up-close view of the golfers in action.Besides OCC, my golf kaki and NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Limited were also sponsors for theevent and they set up booths at the Exhibition Village to share their products and services with golfers and spectators. The immaculate course conditions and the Club’s hospitality were well received by the golf pros and spectators alike,a testament to OCC and Asian Tour’s careful planning and preparations for the event.