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Ainil leads Malaysian challenge at EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open

Ainil Bakar carded an opening even-par 72 to lead the Malaysian challenge in the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open today.

The 29-year-old traded one birdie at the par-five 17th against a dropped shot at the par-three 5th to lie in joint 32nd place, five strokes off the lead held by the China’s Du Mohan. The next best Malaysian was Dianne Luke who signed in a one-over-par 73, while Aretha Pan and Michelle Koh both opened their campaigns with 74s at Hong Kong Golf Club’s Old Course.

“I played really well today and I think I only missed two greens … I just couldn’t make any putts, so it was nice to finally make one on 17,” said Ainil, who divides her touring time between the Ladies European Tour Access Series and China LPGA Tour.

“My driving wasn’t the best but my second shot was a lifesaver, I guess. I couldn’t really get the speed right on the greens, which were rolling faster than yesterday’s practice round,” added the golfer from Klang.

Ainil noted that it was tough dividing her time between Europe and Asia. “I came here on Tuesday and am going back right after the final round on Sunday. I try to play as many events as I can in Europe and on the China LPGA Tour … it’s kind of tough to balance because the tournaments often clash and I cannot afford to go back and forth,” she said.

The four Malaysians form part of a 123-player field representing 14 different countries and territories in 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.

Pan finished joint 16th in last year’s tournament on one-under-par, Koh was joint 29th on two-over-par, while Ainil was T43. Luke did not play in the previous edition.

For more information, visit www.efghkladiesopen.com

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