Jean, Ainil granted Sime Darby LPGA starts

Jean Chua © Scott Miller/Getty Images

Kuala Lumpur: Professionals Jean Chua and Ainil Johani Abu Bakar have been accorded sponsor’s exemptions to tee-off at the third edition of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

The pair will join amateurs Aretha Pan Herng and Sarfina Vinota Seretharan as the four Malaysian representatives during the highly-anticipated US$1.9 million tournament at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club from October 11 – 14.

In extending the exemptions, title sponsor Sime Darby Group expressed its hopes that the professional duo will make full use of the starts at the prestigious event to take their careers in the paid ranks to a higher level.

“With Jean and Ainil, we have two wonderful and well deserving additions to the world-class Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA field. Both ladies are young and talented with great futures ahead and will present the other golfers with some tough competition. We are delighted to be able to offer them this unique opportunity to compete in the only LPGA event in Malaysia and we wish them all the best and hope that they have a successful week here,” said Sime Darby Group’s chief operating officer Datuk Abdul Wahab Maskan.

Jean, who is a regular on the LPGA’s development Symetra Tour, has set her eyes on improving as she was placed tied-69th last year and 53rd the year before.”I’ve been working very hard and I feel much more comfortable about my game and I think I’m better prepared to handle the conditions at the Kuala Lumpur GCC. This is a world-class event and there are so many great players competing. It’s not going to be easy but I’m definitely going to give my best and hopefully give my fellow Malaysians something to cheer about,” said the 25-year-old.

Ainil, who narrowly missed out on an automatic slot through the national qualifier earlier in the month, was elated with news that she would once again tee-off alongside the game’s top stars this October.

“I’m honoured that Sime Darby has given me this opportunity to compete in such a prestigious event. My dream is to play on the LPGA Tour and this experience will definitely help me become a better player,” said the 23-year-old Ainil, who plies her trade on the regional Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT).