IN our Q&A (question and answer) week, TeeUp also spoke to Malaysia’s newly anointed number one player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Marcus Lim.
Based in the United States where he is at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, but now on a summer break back home, Marcus shares a lot of what has transpired since his move to study in the US.
Here are some excerpts of the interview conducted with the 19-year-old who is at a career best 266th on this week’s WAGR list:
Q: First off, congratulations Marcus on recently becoming Malaysia’s new number one ranked amateur player in the WAGR – how does it feel and what does it mean to you?
A: I am happy to be ranked first among Malaysian amateurs and hope to continue to play good golf and move up in the rankings. But, I do feel there are other Malaysian amateurs who are better and more experienced than me.
Q: Who do you credit most with helping your golf?
A: My parents. Without the help and support of my parents I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play golf. My parents have made many sacrifices, spent a lot of time and money to take me to tournaments and for training.
Q: You are based in the US – could you tell us a bit about that?
A: I am studying at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and I am majoring in Health Science in Healthcare Administration Concentration. The programme started in August 2020 and due to Covid-19, I decided to attend the fall 2020 semester online. I travelled to the US for the first time in January 2021. It was really challenging at first as I did miss home, but with the classes, practice sessions, workouts and tournaments, it was fun. I enjoyed them and it kept me busy.
Q: What has the golf been like over there?
A: The first half of the season was tough for me due to the weather. We had to spend two months practicing indoors as it was snowing and extremely cold. We were not able to practice outdoors for our first few tournaments as our home course was still covered in snow. We competed in seven events. Having to play with three to four layers (of clothing) on was definitely a change for me. We had to play in brutal weather and the temperature dropped to as low as minus-5 Celsius.
Q: Could tell us more about the tournaments?
A: We (Sacred Heart) won the FDU Invitational as a team and I had a couple of decent individual finishes. One was at the SHU Spring Invite where I shot 71 and 74 to finish 6th and finished 4th at the NEC Conference with scores of 77, 74 and 72. I also finished tied for 5th at the Hartford Blackledge Invitational and Hartford Tumble Brook Invitational with scores of 74 and 72, respectively.
Q: Having played tournament golf here, including a finish for 6th place on the PGM Tour, how would you describe the level of competition in college so far?
A: I think that the standard of golf in college is much higher. That is because the college circuit over there is really huge and there are so many young and talented players, all wanting to succeed for themselves as well as their families and friends.
Q: What would you say is the strongest part of your game?
A: My iron game is the strongest part of my game and I also hit fairly consistent drives.
Q: When did you get back home and when you are expected to return the US?
A: I came back in the middle of May and I’m scheduled to go back at the end of August.
Q: Any achievements so far?
A: Although the 2021 spring season was challenging for me, I was fortunate enough to be named Rookie of the Year at the Northeast Conference and was also part of the NEC First Team. For this, I would like to thank my coach
Matt McGreevy for all his help and advice, my teammates for their guidance, and my parents for their continued support.