Thai teenager Sarunchana Rattanasin overcome tough conditions to chalk up an impressive win in the 36th Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open at Resorts World Genting.
The 16-year-old from Bangkok came from three shots back with a closing even-par 71 at the tight and challenging highland course to win the event with a 54-hole total of three-over-par 216 (71-74-71) . She finished three shots clear of overnight leader Kelsey Bennett of Australia who had a disappointing final round 77, and Malaysia’s Geraldine Wong who closed with 71.
“This is my first time playing in Malaysia and I’m really glad to win,” said Rattanasin, who recently won the Girls’ 15-18 title at the IMG Academy Junior World Championship in California.
“The golf course is very tough as it’s hilly and tight. You really need to be straight off the tees and it’s important to place your shots,” added the talented high school student.
This was Thailand’s seventh win in the prestigious championship, which carries a Category C rating on the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Malaysia’s Natasha Andrea Oon, Winnie Ng Yu Xuan and Junie Khaw Wen Jun tied for fourth on 220 with Australia’s Sarah Wilson. 2018 champion Ribka Vania of Indonesia struggled to manage the tight course and settled for 31st place on 25-over-par 238.
Team Malaysia 1 comprising Oon, Ng and Siti Zulaikhaa Shaari took the team title with a total of 435, four shots head of Team Malaysia 2 made up of Wong, Warda Amira Abdul Rawof and Liyana Durisic.
95 golfers from 10 countries took part in the event, which also featured mid-amateur and senior categories won by Malaysia’s Farah Adylah Yeoh Muhammad and Hong Kong’s Cathy Cheung respectively. Prizes were also given to the top nett finishers in each category.
“It is refreshing to see an array of talented youngsters in the open category, which comprises the top golfers from the region. The large field for this category is very encouraging and hopefully we will see a few renowned professionals emerge from among them in the future,” said Malaysian Ladies Golf Association (MALGA) president Tunku Puteri, Tunku Puan Sri Dato’ Seri Jawahir Bt Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar.