The country’s top woman amateur Genevieve Ling is hoping that her improved mental strength will result in a good performance at the Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open, which begins tomorrow at Templer Park Country Club.
Ranked 309th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), the Boise State University sophomore is using the 38th edition of the championship as a testing ground ahead of her first senior appearance for Malaysia at the South East Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore next month.
“Back in the States, 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,” said the 19-year-old, who claimed her maiden college golf title at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic in April.
Genevieve, who finished joint third in last year’s edition, returned to Malaysia a fortnight ago and has taken the opportunity to acclimatise herself with the Templer Park layout.
“I’ve played a couple of times and the 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 my putting consistency this week,” said Genevieve.
Another local looking to shine this week is youngster Ashley Lau Jen Wen. The Bintulu native has been in top form recently, winning the girls’ Under-16 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 the 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.
Philippines and New Zealand, who finished second and third respectively in the Queen Sirikit Cup in Hong Kong last week, have arrived with strong squads and are expected to be among the front runners.