Home > Sport > Golf
Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 6:53:00 PM
Wednesday August 28, 2013 MYT 6:54:59 PM
Aretha Pan: 'It’s definitely a different experience ... and playing on the Tour is so much more challenging. It’s a learning curve, but I’m enjoying it at the moment.'
KUALA LUMPUR: Aretha Pan made a calculated move when she turned professional in May. The rookie pro, who currently plays in the Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT), aspires to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“Choosing to turn professional was not easy because I had to say ‘no’ to a lot of things. There are a lot of pros and cons ... but with golf featuring in the 2016 Olympics, I knew I had to make it happen,” said Aretha, who made history after becoming the first woman golfer – and the youngest (17 years) – to win the Malaysian Amateur Open in 2011.
Turning pro has also meant having to fend for herself a lot more.
“I’m adapting well. Previously, things were planned for me ... but now, it’s all up to me. I have to get everything organised myself. It’s definitely a different experience ... and playing on the Tour is so much more challenging. It’s a learning curve, but I’m enjoying it at the moment,” said the 19-year-old.
Aretha finished a credible 17th in her professional debut – in the LAGT’s Technology Cup – in June and has gone on to make the cut in all of her three professional events in Taiwan, so far.
She has also qualified for stage two of the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association (JLPGA) Qualifying School in November. She hopes to earn a card to play in the JLPGA before making the jump to the US LPGA two years later.
The Sabahan is also hoping to qualify for her fourth Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, which tees off in October.
Last year, she was the best Malaysian performer when she ended up with a four-day total of 296 to finish joint 61st with Americans Amanda Blumenhearst and Angela Stanford.
“I’m confident about my game and I’ve qualified for the tournament three times already. So, of course, I’d love to come back for a fourth time ... and to do it as a professional will be pretty special,” she said after signing a one-year renewable sponsorship deal with US-based nutritional company Usana.
The deal will see her becoming the first member of their Team Elite for Usana Malaysia and she will receive nutritional supplements worth RM10,000.
Usana has also partnered with tennis stars like Kim Clijsters, Samantha Stosur, Liezel Huber and Zheng Jie as well as US Olympic speed skating gold medallist Derek Parra and boxer Timothy Bradley.
“Aretha is the perfect candidate, not just because she has been using Usana products for the past three years, but because of her deep sense of self-belief, someone who has direction and is not afraid to take risks to make things happen,” said Ng Kean Hean, vice-president of Usana, South Asia.
Tags / Keywords:
golf, Aretha Pan, Ladies Asian Golf Tour, LAGT, Team Elite, Usana Malaysia, Usana
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)