ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Teen Amateurs Aim to Cause Singapore Stir

Lyn Yeo (far left) and China LPGA CEO Li Hong (far right) with Athena Ni, Arianna Lau, Sydnie Ng, Ji Yuai and Ren Yijia.

Singapore: Talented teenage amateurs Ren YijiaArianna Lau and Sydnie Ng will all be aiming to cause a stir when the second edition of the Singapore Ladies Masters tees off at Laguna National Golf Resort Club today.

Sanctioned by the China Ladies Professional Golf Association (CLPGA), the US$100,000 event features 132 players from 14 countries and is the only tournament on China’s premier women’s golf circuit held outside China in their 2024 season.

At 14 years, 10 months and 15 days, China’s Ren became the CLPGA’s youngest winner when she triumphed at last month’s Beijing Women’s Challenge, defeating 41-year-old Pan Yanhong in a play-off.

When asked about the goals she’s set for herself this week, Ren said: “This will be the first time I’m playing in a competitive tournament in Singapore. I have been here on holidays before but to compete in a professional golf tournament will be my first. It’s exciting.

“I do not want to put too much pressure on myself, but obviously, the goal is to play well again. If I can do that, the results will show.”

Playing on home soil, Singapore’s Ng, at the age of 13, is the youngest player in the field.

“I want to keep improving and I’m thankful for the opportunities that Lyn Yeo (tournament organiser and founder of LLD Sports) and Laguna National have given me to continue to grow as a player.

“Competing in the Singapore Ladies Masters will give me the chance to do so and it’ll be wonderful if I can achieve what Shannon (Tan, 2023 Singapore Ladies Masters champion) has done,” said Ng.

Hong Kong amateur Lau is returning to the scene of her win at the China LPGQ series where she punched her ticket to this week’s event with a commanding five-shot victory a fortnight ago.

The 16-year-old served notice of her talent when she won the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) Junior Championships last year and will be aiming to punch above her weight against the established professionals this week.

“This is my first CLPGA event and I’m really excited to be able to test myself against the more experienced professionals. I believe I’ll become a stronger player after this experience. I have good momentum and hope to keep it up. I just need to trust myself and see how well I can do this week,” said Lau.

Meanwhile, China’s Ji Yuai will be seeking redemption after a heartbreaking loss to Shannon Tan by one shot last year. The 19-year-old believes that experience shaped her into a much-improved player, as she proved in winning the Tianjin Women’s Open in April.

“It’s nice to be back in Singapore. It was disappointing not to have won last year. But that’s golf. I took the positives from that defeat and came back stronger with my wire-to-wire win in Tianjin. I hope to continue this winning run in Singapore,” she said.

The tournament features a selection of international players including Thais Kan BunnabodeePattraporn Sripatrprasite and 15-year-old amateur Arisa Bintachitt, Japan’s Julia Kurata, and South Korean Jung Hyun-woo along with Singaporean Athena Ni, who is set to play collegiate golf in the United States for the University of Washington this year.

Tournament organiser Lyn Yeo said: “We look forward to the start of the Singapore Ladies Masters tomorrow. It has always been my dream to produce champions. I’m so happy I managed to fulfil that with Shannon last year and she’s now on her way to playing in the Olympics. I hope we can unearth more future talents in golf this week.

“Away from the course action, the Singapore Ladies Masters has also given us the opportunity to strengthen our friendship with CLPGA. They have been a key supporter since I founded the Singapore Ladies Masters and we look forward to more success working together.”

*Laguna National Golf Resort Club is a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

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