KUALA LUMPUR, 18 AUGUST 2017 – Three of Malaysia’s brightest young stars will be drawing upon their experiences gained at TPC Kuala Lumpur in their bid to win gold at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2017.
Ashley Lau, 17, Loy Hee Ying, 20, and Nur Durriyah Damian, 22, will be looking to utilise home advantage, and the skills acquired through participation in the Sime Darby LPGA Development Programme to overcome defending champions Thailand, in the region’s biennial sporting celebration, which takes place at The Mines Resort City Golf Club in Selangor next week.
World No. 111 Loy, the highest ranked Malaysian in the field, boasts an impressive résumé, which includes a Silver medal in the ASEAN School Games in 2012, a Gold Medal in the 2014 Malaysian Sports Games, and a 3rd place finish is the prestigious Annika Invitational at Mission Hills in China.
Loy, who is a student at East Tennessee State University, will spearhead the Malaysian challenge as she hopes to build upon an impressive 10-shot victory at the RSGC Ladies Amateur Open in July.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in the SEA Games next week. It will be a great test for where my game is at the moment and I know it’s going to be very competitive. I think it’s great that Sime Darby continues to invest in golf through both the Sime Darby LPGA and the development programme. As a former participant on the development course, we need programmes like that in Malaysia to support and nurture women’s golf in Malaysia. I’d also like to thank the Malaysian Golf Association for the support they have lent to get me to where I am now,” said Loy.
She will be joined by Malaysian Ladies Amateur champion, Nur Durriyah, who is hoping to sign off her amateur career in style at the SEA Games, which takes place in the capital between the 19th and 31st August 2017.
The 21-year-old was Malaysia’s top performing amateur golfer last year, after claiming four international titles, and will be making her fourth successive SEA Games appearance, before turning her attention to the professional ranks.
Australian based Ashley Lau, who experienced her first taste of life on the LPGA circuit at the 2016 Sime Darby LPGA having finished as the top amateur in the National Qualifying Tournament, will complete the team, buoyed by her experience playing alongside the world’s best golfers on the East Course of TPC Kuala Lumpur last October.
“Playing in last year’s Sime Darby LPGA was undoubtedly a career highlight for me and I hope the experience will benefit me in this month’s SEA Games. I’m looking forward to the Games and will just focus on getting out there, enjoying the golf and hopefully putting into practise what I’ve learned in training,” said Lau.
All three players have been supported with their golfing ambitions with the help of the Sime Darby Foundation’s investment in elite female golf development through the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Development Programme.
Now in its 8th year, the world-class training scheme, which has been a main-stay of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia since its inaugural year, is adopting a new two-part format to further improve an already successful development system for Malaysia's top female golfers.
Part one of the programme sees 20 talented professionals, amateurs, and aspiring youngsters receive access to TPC Kuala Lumpur golf courses, driving range, specialised technical and mental training sessions, equipment fitting, physio and chiropractic care, and fitness sessions, as well as access to the TPC Kuala Lumpur gym and swimming pool. From August to December, this part of the programme provides a "home club" environment for these top athletes from who are playing on professional golf tours, studying abroad or competing in a busy amateur schedule in Malaysia.
Part two is the 5-week intensive training programme for 16 elite female golfers which kicked off on 14th August and runs to 15th September. One of the most advanced programmes of its kind to be found anywhere in the world, the 2017 schedule will once again see Australian golf guru Ian Triggs in residence for a week, who will be joined by other internationally recognised instructors and mental coaches including the UK’s Dr Nicky Lumb and Dr John Pates.
Part two of the programme will again culminate in the national qualifying tournament, slated for 19 – 20 September this year, from which four nationals will have the opportunity to secure berths in the prestigious event.
And with a further place available for a regional winner, and two local junior amateurs also eligible to qualify, the tournament again demonstrates why it has earned its reputation as one of the most progressive and developmental stops on the LPGA schedule.
Sime Darby Foundation (SDF) Chairman Tun Musa Hitam is delighted that the tournament continues to give local talent the opportunity to chase their dreams.
“The Sime Darby LPGA is proud of its history of nurturing local talent and giving them much-needed exposure. Now in its 8th season, the event continues to serve as a platform for Malaysia’s best young female talent to compete in a world-class event, and we are delighted that the quality of our home-grown golfers continues to improve with the help of the annual development program.”
“The involvement of two of our former participants, Kelly Tan and Michelle Koh, at the 2016 Olympic Games; and the announcement of a strong Malaysian lady golfer team at the upcoming SEA Games, all of whom having experienced our unique tutoring, is very interesting to follow.’’
One of Malaysia’s most prestigious sporting events, the US$ 1.8 million purse Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is set to return to the capital later this year from 26 – 29 October 2017, and will feature many of the world’s biggest names, including defending champion Shanshan Feng, KPMG Women’s PGA Champion Danielle Kang, and Thailand’s first ever major champion Ariya Jutanugarn.
To see why the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia really is Malaysia’s most fun golf event, visit the tournament website at www.simedarbylpgamalaysia.com and follow us at www.facebook.com/SimeDarbyLPGAMalaysia, or via Twitter and Instagram using @SimeDarbyLPGA, #SimeDarbyLPGA, #WomenWithDrive #TPCKL