There’s something about Finland and Ainil Bakar. The Malaysian professional came close to claiming her second Viaplay Ladies Finnish Open title on the Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS), losing a five-way playoff at Messila Golf near Lahti on Saturday.
Ainil carded rounds of 76, 69 and 69 to finish 54 holes of regulation play tied on two-under-par with Sweden’s Julia Engstrom and Emma Nilsson, along with Finns Sanna Nuutinen and Ursula Wikstrom. The highly-rated Engstrom, playing in her rookie season as a pro at age 17, emerged victorious with a birdie on the second extra hole.
Ainil has a knack for doing well in Finland, winning this event in 2016 by one shot in windy conditions at Hillside Golf Club. She noted that the memories of that win, her first on the LETAS, helped her perform well again.
“I have such great memories from Finland and that helped actually. I also figured out something about my swing at the range after the first round … that seemed to be the missing piece and I was hitting a lot better after. I’m happy with the way my game is coming together,” said Ainil.
Ainil flew back to Malaysia today for the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration, having missed spending it at home the past few years due to her tour commitments.
“I’m finally going to be able to celebrate Raya with my family this year!” said Ainil, who will however have to fly to Pattaya on Monday for next week’s €300,000 Ladies European Thailand Championship.