Malaysia’s Fab Four challenge in Hong Kong

Aretha Pan

Four Malaysian professionals will carry the nation’s flag in the fifth EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open, which starts tomorrow at Hong Kong Golf Club.

Ainil Bakar, Aretha Pan, Dianne Luke and Michelle Koh are part of the 123-player field for the US$150,000 event, which is sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, Taiwan LPGA and Ladies Asian Golf Tour. The tournament is supported by the Hong Kong Professional Golfers’ Association and Hong Kong Golf Association.

Ainil Bakar, Michelle Koh and Aretha Pan

Pan finished joint 16th in last year’s tournament on one-under-par with rounds of 71, 71 and 73, while Koh mustered a joint 29th finish on two-over-par. Bakar was T43, while Luke did not play.

“I love the fast greens here at Hong Kong Golf Club and I’m putting well, but I’m a bit worried about my driving,” said Pan.

The field is made up of players representing 14 different countries and territories aiming to bank in the winner’s cheque of HK$175,000 come Sunday. Leading the international charge is Thailand’s Parinda Phokan, the top-ranked player in the field at 148th place in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. She will be joined by fellow Thai players in 2017 champion Supamas Sangchan and Renuka Suksukont, whose two-stroke victory in the Hengqin Phoenix Tree Building Orient Golf Challenge in March puts her in second place in the China LPGA Order of Merit.

Rising Chinese player Liu Wenbo, who turned professional in 2018, leads the 18-strong contingent of players from the mainland which includes current China LPGA Tour Order of Merit leader Liu Yiyi.

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