Aretha Pan Herng shot apersonal best round of four under-par 67 on the East Course of TPC Kuala Lumpur this afternoon to top the leader board at the half way stage of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia National Qualifying Tournament.
With a three-shot cushion over second placed Natasha Oon, the 23-year old will be eyeing victory in the Open Category if she is able to maintain the same kind of form she showed on course today. Speaking after her round, Pan said:
“I feel good. I didn’t manage to finish my practice rounds yesterday because of the rain, and I wasn’t hitting very well. But my caddie told me to just stay patient. My putts were really good today. I’m very happy. This is my best score on this course. I’m going to go back now and take a rest, and just relax for tomorrow.”
For Natasha Oon, who turned 16 just last week, a berth among the stars of the LPGA Tour seems almost certain. Not only is she within reach of Pan and the Open category, she also tops both the Malaysian and Junior Amateur qualification categories. One of the brightest prospects for the future, the youngster is testament to the impact that the Sime Darby LPGA Development Programme continues to have on elite youth development in the country. Speaking after her round, Oon said:
“My round was pretty ok today. A lot of good things happened but also a lot of bad things too. A lot of back and forth, but my iron shots were good today and I was happy I was able to maintain my score and end well.”On her game plan for tomorrow, she added: “Just enjoy it and relax. Whatever the outcome, I’ve tried my best.”
A shot further back at even-par are Winnie Ng – who is also competing in the Junior Amateur category – and RenukaSuksukont of Thailand. Diane Luke lies at one-over par and one shot ahead of SEA Games bronze medallists, Michelle Koh and NurDurriyah who lie at two-over par 73.
Round two of the National Qualifying Tournament will commence at 7.30 am on Wednesday 20th September and will see seven players qualify for next month’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Places are awarded as follows:
- Winner of the (Asia) Open Category
- Top 4 ranked Malaysian Nationals after the winner
- Top 2 ranked players in the Junior Amateur category
Played over 36 holes of stroke play, the Sime Darby LPGA National Qualifying Tournament is an integral part of the US$ 1.8 million purse Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, providing a pathway for Malaysian Nationals to compete on an international stage amongst the very best players in the world. The Sime Darby LPGA returns to TPC Kuala Lumpur from 26 – 29 October 2017.
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