Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Ashley joins seven other Malaysians for Sime Darby LPGA

From left: Natasha Andrea, Winnie Ng, Aretha, Nur Durriyah and Ashley
with the Sime Darby LPGA trophy. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: National junior Ashley Lau just can’t wait for the start of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

The 16-year-old is looking forward to rub shoulders with the world’s elite golfers, including idol Paula Creamer of the United States, after earning a dream start at the tournament from Oct 27-30.
In the final round of the 36-hole qualifier at the TPC Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, Ashley carded a second straight four-over 75 for an eight-over 150 to finish third.
Aretha Pan, who had a four-stroke overnight cushion, easily cruised to a three-shot victory despite a 75 for a 144 total.
Nur Durriyah Damian, the Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open champion, will also be returning to the US$1.8mil (RM7.42mil) event after adding a 73 to claim second spot on 147.
It was the first time that Malaysians claimed all the three qualifying spots.
The trio will join the three exempted Malaysian pros – Kelly Tan, Michelle Koh and Ainil Johani Bakar – in the four-day tournament.
Two other Malaysians – Winnie Ng and Natasha Andrea Oon – also earned invitations to play in the 75-woman field as the country’s top two juniors. With eight in the fray, it will be Malaysia’s biggest-ever representation in the tournament’s history.
Ashley was pleased to realise her dream of playing in her first LPGA Tour event.
“I really hope to catch up with my idol Creamer (a 10-time LPGA Tour winner). I hope we’ll be in the same flight,” said Ashley, a student at the Hills International Golf Academy in Queensland, Australia.
For Aretha, she will be making her sixth appearance in the tournament, also to be held at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.
“I have great confidence in my game now, so today’s victory came as no surprise,” said Aretha.
“But I need to improve on my putting. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish strongly this time,” said Aretha, whose best finish was joint 53rd in 2011.
Leading final round scores
*Malaysia unless stated
144: Aretha Pan 69-75; 147: Nur Durriyah Damian 74-73; 150: Ashley Lau 75-75; 151: Winnie Ng 75-76, Kim Seong-ryeong (Kor) 73-78; 152: Kuriko Tsukiyama (Jpn) 74-78; 153: Gwon Min-hae (Kor) 79-74; 154: Natasha Andrea Oon 76-78; 155: Qistina Balqis 77-78; 156: Jean Chua 82-74, Dianne Luke 78-78.
-thestar online.

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