FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
QUINTET OF MALAYSIANS CLINCH BERTHS AT SIME DARBY LPGA
Aretha Pan tops leader board while Nur Durriyah and Ashley Lau finish in second and third. Winnie Ng and Natasha Oon qualify as top two Junior Amateurs.
KUALA LUMPUR, 27 September 2016 –
It turned out to be an all-Malaysian affair as the dust settled on the greens of TPC Kuala Lumpur after the second and final day of the
Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia National Qualifying Tournament. Aretha Pan won the tournament in impressive style with a second round score of 4-over par 75 to add to her first round score of 2-under 69. Local golfers Nur Durriyah and Ashley Lau finished in second and third place respectively, and were awarded the two local qualifying places. Durriyah carded a 2-over par 73 today and scored a total of 147, while Lau shot a 4-over par 75 to finish with a total score of 150.
The result demonstrated Pan’s steady improvement over the past 12 months. The 22- year-old said: “It was a decent round today. I had a good run on the back nine yesterday but I struggled a bit towards the end with my putting. At the end of the day, golf is all about getting the ball into the hole. My putting was still a little bit off today, but it’s definitely something that I will be working hard to improve on now that I have officially qualified!”
Winnie Ng and Natasha Oon posted combined scores of 151 and 154 respectively to secure the two spots available in the new Junior Amateur Category. Finishing in fourth and eighth place amongst the 24 participants, the result is testament to the impact that the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Development Programme has had in nurturing young talent.
Ng scored a respectable total of 151, just one stroke behind 16-year-old Lau. The 15- year-old Ng said: “It’s a total dream come true for me to be playing at a world-class tournament alongside the world’s best players. I actually just scored my first ever holein- one here last week, and to now be able to play in my first LPGA tournament here as well, is just a dream come true!”
The quintet will join compatriots Kelly Tan, Michelle Koh, and Ainil Bakar, who were all awarded sponsor invitations to the tournament in October based on their official world rankings. Together they will make up the largest local contingent in the tournament’s history to date.
Now into its seventh year of developing elite golfing talent in Malaysia, the Sime DarbyLPGA Malaysia Development Programme has come a long way since its inception, providing a pathway for young golfers to compete on the international stage. 2016 has been a landmark year, with Tan and Koh having earlier made history by becoming the first female Malaysian golfers to participate in the Olympic Games. Both players are beneficiaries of the Development Programme.
The programme has been one of the mainstays of the Sime Darby Foundation’s investment in sport in Malaysia over the past seven years, during which time it has seen more than 50 talented youngsters benefit from its holistic approach that covers technique, mental preparation, physical fitness, and personal development. Working in conjunction with the MST Golf Academy, the programme has provided players with access to on- and off-course training with some of the world’s most respected coaches. One regular visitor to the capital is the globally renowned Australian ‘golf-guru’ Ian Triggs. Speaking about the impact of the programme on women’s golf development in Malaysia, Triggs said:
“The progress in the women’s game in Malaysia is clear for all to see. Malaysia’s top players are performing better on tour and there is tangible progress with more young talent making the step up to professional golf. With programmes like these, the key ingredient is persistence and over the last seven years, the Sime Darby Foundation’s continued investment is undoubtedly now bearing fruit.”
“I would like to thank the coaching team at MST Golf Academy, TPC Kula Lumpur and the Sime Darby Foundation for their continued support and investment in the programme. It has been a privilege to be part of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Development Programme and I very much hope that it will continue for years to come and become the benchmark for elite golf development in Asia.”
The initiative is a key component of Sime Darby Group’s investment in golf, as Managing Director, Sime Darby Property Dato’ Ir. Jauhari Hamidi explained: “As we enter into our seventh year of the programme, it is heartening to see that the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Development Programme is producing results. Having started with just one active player on a professional golf tour, Malaysia now has eight players on tours around the world, with six of them being graduates of the programme. If you look at some of our young guns like Mirabel Ting and Angel Hii, they are as passionate about the game as they are talented and we look forward to seeing that translate into more results on course in the future.”
“Women’s golf in Malaysia is venturing into uncharted territory and is in a stronger position now than at any other stage in its history as a direct result of this programme. With the foundations now in place, there is much to be excited about for the future of women’s golf in this country.”
The tournament saw a high number of registrations with 13 players from Malaysia, and the remainder of the 24 player field made up of competitors from South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan.
For all the latest updates on the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2016, visit the tournament website at www.simedarbylpgamalaysia.com. Tournament activities can also be followed on www.facebook.com/SimeDarbyLPGAMalaysia, or via Twitter and Instagram using @SimeDarbyLPGA, #SimeDarbyLPGA, #WomenWithDrive.