Malaysia’s top-ranked lady amateur Loy Hee Ying is confident of putting up a strong challenge for medals in the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games golf competition at The Mines.
While acknowledging the strength of the Thai contingent which includes 14-year-old prodigy Atthaya Thitikul who recently made headlines by winning the Ladies European Thailand Championship, Loy noted that it will come down to who plays best during the competition.
“The preparations are going well, just a little bit of fine tuning and I’ll be good to go. We’ve played with the Thai girls before and we’ll just have to prepare as well as we can and see who performs best on tournament week,” said the US-based Loy, currently ranked 106th in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings.
“I like the Mines golf course and I always have a good experience here. I’ve played here a few times in the Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open and we also practised here during the CIMB Junior Development Programme,” she added,
The 20-year-old Johorian plays on the US collegiate circuit for the East Tennessee State University golf team and turned in some solid performances the past season.
“Playing on the US college circuit against international players has really boosted my confidence and elevated my world ranking. The competition is much tougher there and it’s definitely been a great exposure for me,” noted Loy, who just completed her sophomore year at East Tennessee State.
The Malaysian women’s squad is made up of Loy, national stalwart Nur Durriyah Damian who is making her fourth and final appearance before turning professional, and 17-year-old first-timer Ashley Lau. Carrying the nation’s flag in the men’s event are second-timer Galven Kendall Green and debutantes Danial Durisic, Chan Tuck Soon and Ervin Chang.
The SEA Games golf event takes place on August 22-26 and with four gold medals at stake. The men’s and women’s individual events will each be played as three-round strokeplay competitions, followed by the men’s and women’s team events which are in knockout matchplay format. The teams will be seeded based on players’ performances in the individual event.