Genevieve leads local charge

Genevieve Ling
Genevieve Ling

RAWANG [Selangor]: The country’s top ranked women amateur Genevieve Ling believes that a strong mindset is key to a good performance at the 32nd Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open, which begins tomorrow.

Ranked 309th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), the Boise State University sophomore is using the prestigious championship as a testing ground, ahead of her first senior appearance for Malaysia at the 28th South East Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore next month.

Genevieve, who finished joint third in last year’s edition, returned from the United States a fortnight ago and has taken the opportunity to acclimatise herself with the Templer Park Country Club layout.

“I’ve played a couple of times here and the golf course is set up to challenge the golfer. My ball striking has been up to mark all season and it is going to come down to keeping a simple game plan and improving on my putting consistency this week,” said Genevieve.

“Back in Idaho, I have been doing a lot of work on mental strategy with my team coach and it is starting to yield results. You have to make smart decisions on the golf course and it is a mental process that you have to perfect.

“As the top-ranked player in the country, it’s only natural that people are starting to take notice of me and I have just have to deal with that expectation and play my own game,” added the 19-year-old, who claimed her maiden National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic in April.

Another local looking to shine this week is youngster Ashley Lau Jen Wen. The Bintulu native has been in top form recently, having won the girls’ 16 and under category at the Australian Girls’ Amateur Championship as well as the Sarawak Amateur Open in April.

Ashley was also the best-placed Malaysian in joint ninth at 37th Asia Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup last week.

“My putting average has improved considerably since I began working with Aimpoint instructor Steven Giuliano and I’ve very happy with the scores I’ve posted recently. I’ve been working hard at my game hopefully, my putter will be do the trick with the greens rolling hard and fast here,” said Ashley, who came to prominence when she became the youngest-ever player to win the TSM Golf Challenge in 2013.


In the absence of a strong line-up from defending champions Thailand, Philippines are expected to start as early favourites, with the likes of Abegail Arevalo and Sofia Chabon – both winners in the RSGC Ambank Junior Amateur Open earlier this year – lined-up.


The national squads of Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore have also confirmed their participation with newcomers Myanmar also making their debut in the tournament.


The tournament organising committee chairman Dato’ Rabeahtul Aloya Abbas expressed her hopes that the local lasses will step up to the challenge and emerge triumphant.


“Our hope is that our ladies, especially the team heading to the SEA Games, will be motivated to regain the individual and team titles lost last year. We had a strong run of Malaysian champions in the past until Pimnipa Panthong won last year and with many of our players being familiar with the Templer Park layout, we are positive of our chances,” she noted.


“This is one of the last events before the SEA Games and it will give our national team a chance to gauge their opponents and get themselves into competitive mode,” shared Rabeahtul, who is also the executive director of the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association.