Bangi [SELANGOR]: Singapore’s Low Wee Jin and national amateur Winnie Ng sealed dramatic victories at the Selangor Amateur Open as the 47th playing of the championship came down to a tense winner-take-all play-off on Sunday.
The third and final round at Danau Golf Club was called off before the start due to severe inclement weather, with the tournament committee making a collective decision that the championship could not be completed within the prescribed time.
With the tournament reduced to 36-holes, officials further decided that the champions will be determined by play-offs to break the ties in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
Wee Jin converted a birdie putt after an exquisite chip from outside the green, ending Muhammad Afif Fathi’s hopes of winning on his home tract. The latter had watched agonisingly as his birdie attempt from five feet on the deciding 18th hole lipped out.
“Honestly, I felt nervous going into the play-off. The adrenaline rush kicked in and I hit my longest drive on the 18th all week and gave myself a great opportunity for an up-and-down. Afif was pretty unlucky to miss that putt but overall, happy to end the week with this title,” said the 26-year-old Singaporean, who was level-par in regulation play.
The business marketing major at the Singapore Institute of Management has enjoyed quite a run in Malaysia recently, settling for a close second at the Malaysian Amateur Open and a top-five finish at the Saujana Amateur Championship over the past fortnight.
“Finishing second at the Malaysian Amateur Open was a bit painful considering I came short by a single stroke and managed a decent finish at Saujana. Took a lot of positives from those two events and told myself I had a good chance this week. I struggled to get going here but pleased with how I managed to keep myself in contention throughout.
“It is my first win in only my fourth start of the year, so it’s nice to get the ball rolling ahead of the busy stretch of the season,” said Wee Jin, who hopes to continue his hot form going into the Singapore Amateur Open championship from July 15-19.
The women’s division, on the other hand, saw a three-way shootout with Winnie Ng taking advantage of some accurate approach play to set-up an easy tap-in putt for the win after compatriots Natasha Andrea Oon and Liyana Durisic had both missed makeable birdie putts.
Winnie was in her elements as she claimed yet another state amateur title with an assured mental display.
“Winning or losing doesn’t matter; what was important was that I gave my best shot and truth be told, I couldn’t have wished for a better ending. It [the play-off] happened so fast! Before going down the 18th, I visualised how I would play the hole, and fortunately, I was able to execute the plan to the tee. I wasn’t as calm as I wanted to but went I saw my approach hit the green, I knew I had a good chance,” said Winnie.
The 17-year-old was a picture of relief and joy as the serial winner continued her strong return to competitive golf after sitting for her GCSE examinations.
“I didn’t expect to get back into the game that fast, but I guess my hard work after I was done with my papers paid off. My feel was still there and yeah, just super excited to win again,” she added.
Sanctioned by the Malaysian Golf Association, the prestigious World Amateur Golf Ranking championship is supported by Tourism Selangor, in a bid to showcase the state of Selangor Darul Ehsan as the leading golf tourism destination in Malaysia.
LEADING FINAL RESULTS (PAR-72)
144 – Low Wee Jin (SGP) 72-72, Muhd Afif Fathi 71-73
Wee Jin wins with a birdie on the first play-off hole
145 – Galven Kendall Green 74-71, Nicklaus Chiam (SGP) 74-71
147 – Muhd Ikmal Basry 72-75
149 – Donovan Lee (SGP) 78-71, Sazanur Iman Salenin 77-72, Zia Izzuddeen Abd Rashid 75-74
150 – Bryan Tan Wei Han 75-75
151 – Isaac To Chern Yi 77-74, Rhaasrikanesh Kanavathi 76-75
145 – Natasha Andrea Oon 80-65, Liyana Durisic 76-69, Winnie Ng 74-71
Winnie wins with a birdie on the first play-off hole
146 – Audrey Tan 76-70
148 – Amalia Shahzan 78-70
152 – Allycia Gan Pheik Wen 76-76, Yip Sean Yi 75-77
153 – Linna Loh (SGP) 76-77, Foong Zi Yu 74-79
154 – Vinisha Gunaseelan 82-72, Siti Zulaikhaa Shaari 77-77