Genting Highlands [PAHANG]: At 21, Nur Durriyah Damian seems to have been around for years but the decorated national amateur will quietly admit that she is enjoying the best run of form in her flourishing career.
The gutsy lass added the Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open (MLAO) title to a growing list of honours on Friday, sealing a convincing four-shot victory over Indonesia’s Inez Beatrice Wanamarta despite struggling with late round fatigue at the Awana Genting Golf & Country Resort.
Armed with a handsome seven-shot lead after brilliant opening rounds of 70 and 65, Durriyah looked unflustered despite an errant driver, notching a birdie on the eighth to offset an opening bogey to make the turn on 36.
She traded another birdie and bogey but began to tire on the hilly tract, dropping four shots in her closing four holes – including a double bogey six on the 18th – to sign for a 75.
Totalling one-under 212, Durriyah clinched her third victory on the trot, adding to her win at the recently-concluded Kelantan Amateur Open and her gold medal performance at the Malaysian Games (SUKMA) in Kuching last month.
Leading final results (Par-71) >
212 – Nur Durriyah Damian 70-67-75
216 – Inez Beatrice Wanamarta (INA) 72-72-72
220 – Onkanok Soisuwan (THA) 72-74-74, Loy Hee Ying 76-69-75
227 – Natasha Andrea Oon 75-74-78, Tunrada Piddon (THA) 72-77-78
230 – Rivani Adelia Sihotang (INA) 77-75-78
231 – Michelle Cheung (HKG) 73-78-80
232 – Mikhaela Fortuna (PHI) 77-79-76
233 – Pauline Del Rosario (PHI) 82-81-70
234 – Amanda Tan (SIN) 77-80-77
235 – Winnie Ng Yu Xuan 81-77-77, Noramol Nuchsila (THA) 80-78-77, Kristina Natalia Yoko (INA) 80-77-78
236 – Stephanie Bunque (AUS) 77-75-84
Three consecutive rounds of one-over 72s saw Inez finish second – four strokes clear of Thailand’s Onkanok Soisuwan (74) and US-based national Loy Hee Ying (75).
Having being pipped to the title last year by Filipina Pauline Del Rosario, Durriyah was counting her blessings after finally etching her name on the glittering MLAO challenge trophy.
“I came into the tournament with a lot of confidence and I guessed it showed in my opening two rounds. Today, my shots were all over the place and as the round progressed, I was starting to tire a bit but managed to nurse my overnight lead and cross the line,” said Durriyah.
“I finished third in 2014 and a disappointing second last year when a costly blunder on the closing stretch ended my title hopes. I believe I have improved as a player since and I’m delighted to win here.
“My form has been nothing short of incredible and I’m relishing it,” added the Selangor native, whose winning run includes an international breakthrough at the Chinese Taipei Amateur Open in June.