SINGAPORE: Shannon Tan is set to make history for Singapore, by becoming the nation’s first golfer to qualify for the Olympic Games. She will be competing at the 18-hole Le Golf National course in Paris from Aug 7 to 10.

“Proud to share that I will be flying the Singapore flag in Paris this summer! Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me to get to this point and I cannot wait for the Games,” posted a jubilant Tan on her Instagram page after learning that she had secured a spot at the upcoming the Paris Olympics.

According to the Olympics website, qualifications for the golf tournament are reserved for the world’s top 60 men and 60 women golfers, as determined by the Official World Golf Rankings. 

The top 15 golfers will be selected, but only a maximum of four golfers per country are allowed, ensuring a competitive field that showcases the sport’s global talent.

Following which the Olympic Golf Rankings will be recalculated to include the next two eligible athletes from each country, provided that country doesn’t already have two representatives in the top 15 list.

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20-year-old Tan who just turned professional in February is currently ranked 181 in the world and made the cut for the Paris Olympics as she is ranked 43rd in the final women’s official Olympic Golf Rankings on Jun 25.

Women’s Olympic Games Ranking – 2024 Olympic Games Paris (Photo: Website screengrab / olympics.com)

The Team Singapore’s golfer qualification for the Paris Olympics was also shared by Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law.

He is “thrilled” that the golfer has made history, and calls on Singaporeans to rally behind Tan and Team Singapore athletes as they fly our flag high at the Olympics. 

“Just half a year ago, Shannon made the bold decision to turn professional, taking a gap year from Texas Tech University to play on the Ladies European Tour (LET). Since then, she has soared more than 500 places up the rankings to become world No. 181,” said Minister Tong.

The Minister added that Tan’s journey has been “inspiring”, especially with her win at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open, as well as continuing to flourish with top 15 finishes in four other official LET events, including a joint-third finish at the Ladies Italian Open earlier this month.

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Tan had a great start to the season as she won the Magical Kenya Open in February during her first start on the LET, less than a month after turning professional.

“Not sure where to start. The past few weeks since turning pro feels like a dream and I would have never imagined hoisting an LET trophy on my debut.

Thank you to Magical Kenya Open for an amazing week and thankful for my family and friends who have supported me along the way. I will continue working hard and excited for the rest of the season,” expressed Tan on her social media after winning her first professional LET trophy.

Shanon Tan winning the Magical Kenya Open on her Ladies European Tour debut after turning professional. (Photo: Instagram screengrab / shannon_so_tan)

One of her highlights in her amateur career before turning professional includes winning the 2023 Singapore Ladies Masters on the CLPGA, and representing Singapore in the prestigious amateur tournaments including Pasty Hankins Trophy and Queen Sirikit Cup.

In her first tournament as a professional golfer, she placed second at the Webex Players Series Murry River at the Cobram Barooga Golf Club in Australia in January. She carded a 19-under 265 total, two strokes behind champion Kazuma Kobori of New Zealand (68).

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In an interview with CNA, Singapore Golf Association president Tan Chong Huat mentioned that the Singapore golf community is thrilled that Tan will be the country;s first golf Olympian.

He added that she has shown “immense talent and potential” to be a world-class player from a young age. 

Tan is currently competing at the VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open at the Migros Golfpark Holzhäusern from June 28 to 30. It will be a packed July for the Singapore golfer as she will be heading to the Aramco Team Series in London on July 3, before taking part in the Amundi Evian Challenge on July 11, and capping off the month with the Dutch Ladies Open on July 19.