Thai teenager Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul secured a coveted spot in the US$2 million Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia with a narrow victory in the Regional Qualifier at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC).
The 15-year-old from Khon Kaen posted scores of 76 and 73 in the two-day qualifier at KLGCC’s East Course, finishing on 7-over-par 149 to edge Malaysia’s Dianne Luke by one shot. A further two shots back was another Malaysian, first day leader Sarfina Seretharan who recorded a total of 152.
“I am very excited to win the qualifier and look forward to coming back to Malaysia for my first LPGA event,” said Muangkhumsakul, who turned professional last year.
Luke, who closed with a 75, noted that she did her best. “I thought I played my best. I was positive towards the round and I kept trying to give myself chances to possibly win it, but in the end it didn’t turn out that way,” she said.
12 players from Malaysia and the region competed in the regional qualifier for the single place in this year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. The change in format follows the decision to grant six Malaysian professionals – Michelle Koh, Ainil Bakar, Michele Low, Kelly Tan, Jean Chua and Aretha Pan, collectively dubbed the Malaysian Angels – automatic entries into the tournament, which tees off at KLGCC this 9-12 October.
The fifth edition of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia will feature a total of 75 players, comprising 63 from the LPGA Tour, the six Malaysian Angels and a further six sponsor’s exemptions (including the winner of the regional qualifier). The final five sponsor’s exemptions will be announced soon.
Tickets for the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2014 are available at www.ticketpro.com.my and Ticketpro outlets (Ticketpro hotline +603 7880 7999).
For tournament news and updates visit www.simedarbylpgamalaysia.com