LPGA Tour rookie star Lydia Ko of New Zealand will take part in the LPGA Malaysia in October. - AFP
PETALING JAYA: World No. 2 Lydia Ko is set to make her much anticipated debut in Malaysia after the teenage sensation confirmed her participation for the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia from Oct 9-12.
The New Zealander’s entry will certainly serve as a massive boost to the US$2mil (RM6.38mil) tournament, which enters its fifth year, with American world No. 5 Lexi Thompson returning to defend her crown at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC).
“I have heard so much about the tournament from the other players and am quite excited to be playing there this year,” said the South Korea-born Lydia.
“Overall, I am really enjoying my rookie year on Tour as a professional, and look forward to my remaining events, especially when the Tour travel to Kuala Lumpur and other Asian regions.”
At just 17, Lydia, who turned professional in October last year, already boasts four LPGA titles under her belt with the latest at the Marathon Classic in Ohio last month.
In April, she claimed her first title of the season when she emerged victorious at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco.
The two victories, apart from eight top-ten finishes, have been vital in helping her to become the youngest player in LPGA Tour history, at 17 years, 2 months and 26 days, to reach the US$1mil (RM3.2mil) mark in career earnings.
The four-day no-cut tournament will feature a 75-player field, made up of 63 players from the LPGA Tour, six local players and a further six sponsor exemptions, including one from the Asian Qualifying Tournament.
Malaysia is represented by the “Malaysian Angels” – Michelle Koh, Jean Chua, Kelly Tan, Aretha Pan, Ainil Johani Bakar and Michelle Low.