Solid Winnie eyes strong finish in Hong Kong

Ike Li|Ike Images
Winnie Ng of Malaysia in action during the second round of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open 2018

HONG KONG: Winnie Ng Yu Xuan stayed on course for an impressive leaderboard finish at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open, thanks to another solid display on Saturday.

Having lit up the US$150,000 tournament by snatching the opening round lead, the 16-year-old national amateur settled for a level-par 72 to trail Chinese Taipei’s Hsin Lee by four shots after 36 holes.

Lee returned a flawless six-under 66 to lead by a single shot from compatriot Szu Han Chen on nine-under. EFG ambassador and Olympian Tiffany Chan of Hong Kong (69) was a further two strokes adrift in joint third.

Ng, who is playing on a sponsor’s invite, marked her card with two birdies and as many bogeys to lie in a share of fifth on five-under 139 at the Old Course of Hong Kong Golf Club.

“I went out there today with the same mindset – zero expectations and enjoy my game. I couldn’t find as many birdies as yesterday. I was probably a bit guilty of over-thinking today and missed some short (4-6 feet) putts but overall, I’m happy with how I kept my round together,” shared Ng.

Despite dropping off the pace, the Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar student added that experience of teeing off alongside some of the region’s finest professionals more than made up for it.

“I’m relishing the opportunity and I can’t thank EFG enough for the invite. I’m here for the experience, so winning or losing is quite secondary. But having said that, if I can conjure up another four or five-under round tomorrow, anything is possible,” she added.

The Malaysian professionals in the field were led by Aretha Pan, who notched a second consecutive 71 to sit in joint 17th. Nur Durriyah Damian (73) tied for 25th placing while Ainil Johani Abu Bakar rued a poor 76 as  she slipped to a share of 48th. An improved one-under 71 saw Michelle Koh survive the halfway cut that came at four-over 148.