Lengthy challenge for Malaysian girls at Sentosa

Natasha Andrea Oon

Malaysia’s Natasha Andrea Oon, Ashley Lau and Geraldine Wong have all described the New Tanjong course at Sentosa Golf Club, venue for this week’s inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship, as “very long”.

The trio are part of a six-strong Malaysian contingent along with Winnie Ng, Liyana Durisic and Qistina Balqis Azhar in the tournament, which has a field of 83 players from 18 countries including 15 ranked in the top 100 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

Oon is familiar with Sentosa Golf Club after watching good friend Jessica Korda play in last year’s HSBC Women’s World Championship although the teenager hadn’t actually played the 6,456-yard (5,904-metre) New Tanjong course before this week.

“I’ve been here but never played this course before, but it’s really good. It’s very long – everyone’s saying it’s very long – especially as you have three par-fours close to 400 metres,” said Oon, who will play college golf at San Jose State University in California from August.

This week’s winner will earn invitations to play in two Majors – the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in California and the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in England. She will also be invited by HSBC to remain in Singapore to compete in next week’s 11th HSBC Women’s World Championship, which will also be held over The New Tanjong.

Lau, 17, is the top-ranked Malaysian in the field and will also start college golf later this year when she joins the University of Michigan. Lau agreed with Oon that the layout is a big test for the young competitors, with over half the field aged 18 or under.

“It’s playing a bit long, but the course is in great condition,” said Lau, who graduated from high school in Brisbane, Australia.

Lau played Tuesday’s practice round with Wong, who’s in her first year at the University of Central Arkansas, and was happy to be playing in warm weather in Singapore.

“It’s long for me, but I like it because I haven’t played on green grass for a while,” Wong laughed. “It’s winter in the U.S.”

The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship has been developed by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) and The R&A to nurture talent and provide a pathway for Asia’s elite female amateurs to the international stage. For more information, visit

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