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Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 8:09:00 PM
Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 8:10:50 PM
by ashreena pillai
The four Malaysian golfers hoping to make the country proud at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia (from left): Michelle Koh, Aretha Pan, Ainil Johani Bakar and Cindy Lee-Pridgen.
KUALA LUMPUR: Aretha Pan is all excited about playing in this year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, which starts at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) on Thursday.
It’s going to be Aretha’s fourth appearance. Her three previous outings were as an amateur. This time, she will be making her first appearance as a professional. She only joined the paid ranks in May.
Besides Aretha, the other Malaysians playing are Cindy Lee-Pridgen, Michelle Koh and Ainil Johani Bakar.
Last year, Aretha was the best Malaysian performer when she ended up with a four-day total of 296 to finish joint 61st with Americans Angela Stanford and Amanda Blumenhearst.
This year, Aretha tees off from the 10th hole with Americans Brittany Lang (world No. 56) and Mo Martin (world No. 83).
“I’d be lying if I say there is no pressure. Of course, there is pressure. Brittany is a long-hitter so I’m going to have to put that aside and concentrate on my game. I don’t want to repeat my mistakes from previous years and psyche myself out,” said the 19-year-old from Kota Kinabalu.
“This year, I just want to enjoy my golf. I believe the results will come,” added Aretha.
For qualifier Cindy, it’s all about winning some extra cash to pay the babysitter.
Cindy, who was born in Kota Kinabalu but is now based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is the proud mother of two boys – Graham (three years old) and Charles (14 months). However, leaving her boys in the care of the babysitter while she competed in the qualifiers last month has burned a hole in her and her husband Bob’s pockets.
“Babysitting fees are so expensive! Basically, I’m playing for babysitting cash,” she quipped.
The 37-year-old has Australia’s Katherine Hull-Kirk and Swede Pernilla Lindberg for company at the 10th tee on Thursday.
And with local caddie Azahar Tahir providing local knowledge, Cindy hopes she’ll finish high up on the leaderboard.
“My caddie has been great. He reads the greens really well. He works here and that’s going to be an advantage for me. During qualifying, we both read the greens differently and so that was an eye-opener,” said Cindy who also competed here in 2010 as one of the sponsor’s invitees.
As for Pahang amateur Michelle, she hopes not to get starstruck when she tees off from the 10th with American Alison Walshe and South Korea’s Lee Jee-young.
The 23-year-old Michelle, who will be making her debut in the championship, admits feeling the jitters.
“I’m really excited. I’ve been looking forward to this since September. It’s my first time playing on the LPGA Tour with these pros. I’m just going to try to concentrate on my own game. It won’t be easy, but I’ll try,” said Michelle.
Tags / Keywords:
golf, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, LPGA, Malaysia, Aretha Pan, Cindy Lee-Pridgen, Michelle Koh, Ainil Johani Bakar
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