Kieran Vincent competes in the US$2 million International Series Singapore this week – the event that marked his debut appearance on the Asian Tour last year – saying of the past 12 month: “I can’t dream of anything more”.
The Zimbabwean, brother of Scott Vincent who is now plying his trade with great success on the LIV Golf League and also competing this week, claimed the International Series Vietnam in April for a first win in the play-for-pay ranks, but that has been balanced by his fair share of disappointments.
“It has been a very up and down ride. I have had so many highs – so cool to be able to say now that I am an Asian Tour member, as well as have a win under my belt,” said the 25-year-old from Harare, who played college golf at Liberty University in the US.
“Not only that but I think I have grown as a person as well. I think I have been able to look at the last 12 months and see how much I have grown as a person on the course as well as off the course.
“I think it has been pretty huge. I am blessed to be out here in Singapore again, and I am excited for the week.”
Low points include failing to progress to the weekend in the events played in Chinese-Taipei over the past two weeks, but Vincent is using that to his advantage.
He said: “I think a lot of people will look and say back-to-back missed cuts is not the best, but I have learned so much and it challenged me. I was able to get a sixth-place finish in Korea recently which was a huge momentum shift. So, a lot of confidence has come over the last few weeks, although it may not look like it. I have just been making small mistakes which have cost me a little bit.”
Vincent tied for 22nd in Singapore last year, when like this week the event was played on the Tampines Course here at Tanah Merah Country Club, and on that occasion his older brother said: “He is a great player, I have no doubt he will do something really special with his golf, and whether it is here or whether it is down the road it is going to be really good to see him playing well because he is very capable and we’ll just see how he does coming in.”
Prophetic words by the older brother, as Kieran quickly showed his potential by recording top-10 finishes in International Series events in Morocco and Egypt last year.
And he made it a unique brotherly double on the Asian Tour, when he claimed the International Series Vietnam – just 10 months after Scott won the International Series England.
Kieran holed a decisive 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to beat Anirban Lahiri from India and Australian Kevin Yuan by one stroke.
Has the pressure of that win been a help or a hinderance?
“You want to do well every time you tee if up and Vietnam just gave me that opportunity to show that ‘hey you got this, you can do this’ – but yes I did put way too much pressure on myself,” he said.
“This week is about going out there and having some fun again as a year ago I had barely any status anywhere. So to find myself here with full status for the next couple of years, I can’t dream of anything more.”
His fellow African Jaco Ahlers is also here this week, on the back of his win in last week’s Mercuries Taiwan Masters – a first on the Asian Tour.
“It has been a bit of whirlwind,” said the South African.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. Got on a plane on Sunday night, came here and walked the course yesterday, my wife arrived last night and is on the bag this week. It will probably sink in this week.”