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Friday September 6, 2013 MYT 6:47:00 PM
Friday September 6, 2013 MYT 6:52:51 PM
Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia local and regional qualifiers (from left): Chien Pei-yun, Chang Yu-Hsin, Cindy Lee-Pridgen and Michelle Koh.
KUALA LUMPUR: It was a glorious day for two golf stars - old-hand Cindy Lee-Pridgen and youngster Michelle Koh - when they made the cut to represent Malaysia in the US$2mil (RM6.6mil) Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia from Oct 10-13 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
The US-based Lee-Pridgen and top amateur Michelle sealed the two sponsor's exemptions on offer when they made a superb 1-2 finish in a two-day local qualifying tournament which ended at the KLGCC on Friday. They join the stellar cast of Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, South Koreans So Yeon-ryu and Shin Jiyai, China’s Feng Shanshan, Americans Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer and Spaniard Beatriz Recari for the prestigious event.
Despite just arriving on Monday from the United States, Lee-Pridgen, a 37-year-old mother of two, was a bundle of energy enroute to wrapping up her two-round score at 146 to finish top in the field of nine local golfers.
Michelle came in second best among the locals - four shots adrift of Lee-Pridgen after rounding up both her days at an identical score of 75.
Sabahan Lee-Pridgen was thrilled that her trip back home had been justified.
“I came here hoping to make the cut and I have lived up to that expectation. It was a long journey but I survived it. I had a patchy start but I’m just really glad that I had such a good caddy and it all worked out well,” said the pro golfer.
Having mastered the art of balancing family and golf, Lee-Pridgen is ready to soar high again.
“I won an exemption to play at the 2010 LPGA Malaysia but I was nursing my child then and it was not one of my best performances. I have babysitters now and my husband is very supportive. I am able to spend more time on my golf now.”
The 23-year-old Michelle, who recently won the Warren Ford Amateur Open, was equally ecstatic to keep her momentum going.
“I could not believe that I made the cut ... it still has not sunk in yet. I am just so excited right now. I will get an opportunity to play alongside some star golfers and I am looking forward to a decent score,” she exclaimed.
“It has been a good year for me but I am learning to let go of that (the victories) and focus on what is ahead. I will continue to focus on my physical, mental and course management aspects as part of my preparations for the upcoming event,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Malaysians will be joined by two regional qualifiers Chang Yu-hsin Chang and Chien Pei-yun from Taiwan, who secured their places after a playoff.
Yu-shin, Pei-yun and last year’s winner Cheng Ssu-chia were tied at 143 after 36 holes but Ssu-chia lost out by one shot during the 18th hole play-off.
Tags / Keywords:
golf, LPGA, Chien Pei-yun, Chang Yu-Hsin, Cindy Lee-Pridgen, Michelle Koh, Sime Darby LPGA
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