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Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 6:46:00 PM
Wednesday October 9, 2013 MYT 6:47:47 PM
by s. ramaguru AND ashreena pillay
Suzann Pettersen: 'I am better prepared this year as I come in fresh after a break. I hope to get my game together and go into another level.''
KUALA LUMPUR: South Koreans have dominated the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia since its inauguration in 2010.
Kang Jimin was the winner in 2010 and was followed by Choi Na-yeon and Park In-bee.
With the fourth edition beginning at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on Thursday, there is no indication that the domination will end unless American Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen of Norway live up to their world rankings and challenge for the title.
Pettersen is the world No. 2 while Lewis is ranked third and they have both won three tournaments each on the LPGA Tour this season.
A field of 72 players, 15 of them from South Korea, will vie for the US$300,000 (RM959,000) top prize.
Pettersen comes into the tournament after two back-to-back victories last month. She won the Safeway Classic in Portland, the United States, and then clinched her second Major by winning the Evian Championship in France. In April, she was the winner of the LPGA Lotte Championship in the US.
Lewis also has a Major crown this season, winning the British Open in August. In-bee, the world No. 1, won the other three Majors.
Of the top 10 players in the world, nine will be in action at the KLGCC.
The 32-year-old Pettersen is eager to get back into action. She took a well-deserved three-week break after winning the Evian Championship.
“I am better prepared this year as I come in fresh after a break. I hope to get my game together and go into another level.
“Last year I came straight from Africa and that was very tiring. I was a little rusty with my game and it showed during the tournament,” she said.
Pettersen broke the East Course record by one stroke when she carded an eight-under 64 in the second round. But she blew up in the last round with a 75 to finish joint 19th with a 280 total.
In-bee was the form player in the early part of the LPGA Tour season, winning six on the trot. The 25-year-old, however, suffered a drop in form in July.
In-bee though showed she has recovered some of her form at the Reignwood Classic in China last weekend. She posted 69-68-66-68 for a 271 total to finish third.
In-bee believes she is back on track to win her seventh title of the season.
“This season has been very special,” said In-bee, whose winning total here was 15-under 269.
“I had a good finish last week which gives me a lot of confidence. This course gives me good memories. I’m looking forward to another good week,” added In-bee, who has picked up US$2.3mil (RM7.4mil) in earnings on the LPGA Tour this season.
It hasn’t been raining for the past few days and the golfers are hoping it will stay that way as they take to the course on Thursday.
“For now the course is in great shape. But the weather here in Malaysia is known to be unpredictable and it could still rain,” said Pettersen.
Tags / Keywords:
golf, LPGA, Malaysia, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Park In-bee, LPGA Tour, Suzann Pettersen
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