Published on 3rd Dec 2009 | Red Sports by Les Tan
Johnson Poh won the overall title. He finished second last year. (Photo 1 courtesy of Fulford PR). Laguna Country Club, Tuesday, December 1, 2009 – Johnson Poh, 18, saw off the challenge of 20 other top junior golfers to win the HSBC Youth Golf Challenge.


Johnson, graduate of the HSBC Youth Excellence Programme (YGEP), was excited about his victory explaining: “It is really great to win the HSBC Youth Golf Challenge Grand Final today. I have not won any of the HSBC YGC events before and I was runner-up at last year’s Grand Final on count-back so I am very happy to win this one.”

The grand final is the climax after three legs played earlier in the year, organised by the Singapore Golf Association, with the winner and runner-up from both the boys and girls divisions earning their place in the final flights today.

The HSBC YGC is open to all students in Singapore aged 11 to 18 years old and provides an invaluable opportunity for them to hone their competitive skills within a friendly and educational environment.

Guy Harvey-Samuel, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Singapore said: “Youth golfers in Singapore continue to develop strongly and are showing their talent through events such as the HSBC Youth Golf Challenge. I am delighted to see Johnson claiming the top prize this year and I am sure this victory will inspire our youth golfers to continue to work hard on their game and keep that hunger for more victories in their golfing career.”

He continued, “HSBC also works closely with junior golfers in Singapore through our HSBC Youth Golfers Programme (YGP). We are seeing the fruits of this collaboration grow year on year as we give the next generation an opportunity to develop through our grassroots programmes.”

The first and second legs for the HSBC YGC were held in June at Jurong Country Club and Tanah Merah Country Club. Players then tackled the Singapore Island Country Club in September for the third leg.

Johnson graduated from the HSBC YGEP earlier this year after four years on the programme. He continued: “The YGEP training and psychological skills really helped me out there today. I was two shots behind with four holes to play but I kept calm and told myself to hang in there. The coaches have given me a lot of tips on course management and I have learned all the necessary skills from them to take my game onto the next level.”

The overall award went to Johnson while Joshua Ho collected the Boys’ Champion award (74, winning on count back) and Shermin Tan took the Girls’ Champion award with a round of 72.

HSBC prides itself in being long-term ´top-to-bottom’ sponsors of golf with junior, amateur and professional programmes running in over 25 countries. Specifically in Singapore, the ´HSBC Youth Golfers Programme’ (YGP) is operating in 11 schools nationally and has introduced hundreds of children to the sport in a programme that includes coaching and competitions.

Currently, there are 498 students attending weekly golf training sessions and to date, over 1300 students have benefited from the programme. Youths from the YGP who show great aptitude and potential then join the HSBC YGEP where they receive more specialised coaching, course-time practice along with physical and psychological training.

The overall winner of the 2008 HSBC YGC was then 12-year old Jennifer Yan who went on to represent Singapore in the 19th Thailand Ladies Amateur Open in March this year. Jennifer made it to the finals again this year but had a round of 77 and finished in 3rd position for the girls.

Also amongst the line-up was Joey Poh who represented Singapore alongside the top female golfers from around the world earlier this year as the host country invite for the HSBC Women’s Champions 2009. Joey continues to develop her game through her place at the Singapore Sports School and the HSBC YGEP which she has been part of for three years. Joey finished the final in fourth place with a score of 77 (after count-back).

Another entrant in the field from the HSBC YGEP programme was Kok Jo Ee who finished with a score of 73 and second place in the girls’ division. The HSBC YGC complements the YGEP allowing the students to put their skills to the test in a strong local competition.

Singapore’s female golfers will now be eagerly awaiting news on the qualification tournament that will give them the opportunity to win a spot in the 2010 HSBC Women’s Champions which takes place from 25-28 February. It is an opportunity for a local player to compete in a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event and join the top 62 female professionals for four days of stroke play.

Johnson Poh is now a teaching professional golfer.

The Youth Golf Excellence Programme has been renamed Youth Golf Programme (YGP) which is a part of Youth Golf Network Ltd’s initiative.