Lam inspired by Asia’s rising stars

Lam Zhiqun will makes his professional debut at the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship next week with one aim in mind.

Highly rated Singapore amateur Lam Zhiqun will makes his professional debut at the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship next week with one aim in mind.

He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of this year’s rising stars of the Asian Tour, Noh Seung-yul of South Korea, Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thialand and Gaganjeet Bhullar of India.

Lam, Singapore’s top amateur golfer before turning professional last week, said he was excited and honoured to have been given an invitation to play in the US$1 million season-ending Asian Tour event at Amata Spring Country Club from December 15 to 18.

The 22-year-old said the success of Kiradech, Chinnarat and Bhullar on the Asian Tour has been an inspiration to him and other aspiring young golfers across Asia.

“I grew up playing amateur tournaments with players like Kiradech, Chinnarat, Gaganjeet and even Danny Lee and Noh Seung-yul, who have become big names in the past few years. Seeing them doing well has motivated me to turn professional,” he said.,

“I seem to have a connection with them and seeing all the players who I have played with in the past excel has given me huge confidence, Lam added.

Lam said her was unfazed by the star-studded cast of International stars he would be3 up against next week, including World No 3 Lee Westwood of England and current Major title holders Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa.

I’ve received invaluable experience of playing with some of the top players at the Barclays Singapore Open and the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic where I finished in tied eighth place as an amateur. It shows that I’m capable of doing what all other professionals can do and this, I think, has well prepared me for my (professional) golf career,” he said.

Lam is keeping his fingers crossed that he gets his dream pairing with two-time Major winner John Daly of the United States.

“He is a character and it will be fun to play with him. He is charismatic and I remember following him when he was in Singapore a couple of years ago. He is definitely a one of a kind golfer,” said Lam who believes playing in the Thailand Golf Championship will be the ideal launching pad for his new career.

“There might be obstacles ahead as golf is a very competitive sport, but I look forward to embracing the challenges ahead with a positive attitude.

“There are lots of sacrifices and discipline is crucial in order to succeed but I feel that I am ready for this life as a professional athlete,” he added.

Among the other top names who have confirmed that they will be teeing off in Thailand Golf Championship next week include Ryo Ishikawa of Japan, three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines, who will be crowned the new Order of Merit winner next week.

The winner of the Thailand Golf Championship will earn a spot in the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational 2012.