PETALING JAYA: National golfer Winnie Ng Yu Xuan has established herself as a serial winner after collecting 12 titles in the local competitions since 2017.
The 17-year-old’s latest title came on Thursday when she put up a swinging show to win the just-concluded Tan Sri Muhyiddin (TSM) Challenge at TPC Kuala Lumpur.Her first title this year has certainly come at the right time as she signs off from the local scene before leaving for the United States in September to study and play colleagiate golf there.
The lanky lass was simply a class above the rest when she carded rounds of 69, 70 and 67 for seven-under 206 to win by a whopping 12 shots from second-placed Liyana Durisic.
What made Winnie’s victory even more impressive was that her winning total eclipsed the boys’ winner K. Rhaasrikanesh’s score of four-over 217.
Winnie was delighted to win the country’s flagship junior tournament, which made its first return since 2015 - but claimed her victory as “unexpected”. She finished fourth in 2015.
“I wasn’t expecting to win as I have been grinding on books instead of practising, but I certainly wanted to give it a go,” said Winnie, who is in the midst of preparing for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations in May.
“I’ve always wanted to win the TSM Challenge ever since Kelly Tan (current national No. 1 professional golfer) won in 2010 with a 10-under (total).
“My goal was to only halve her record but I did better, I’m pleased. I hope to have a good vibe throughout the year, and get a few more wins before heading to the US.”
The other tournament she has played this year is the Queen Sirikit Cup team championship earlier this month.
Winnie has set her sights on accomplishing a three-peat in the National Schools championships (MSSM) in Labuan from April 8-10 before putting her clubs away to concentrate on her studies.
She is also expected to play in the Malaysian Amateur Open in June and Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open in August before heading to the US.
Winnie has taken up a golf scholarship with the University of Washington, following in the footsteps of her national teammates such as Ervin Chang (Liberty University), Ashley Lau Jen Wen (University of Michigan) and Natasha Andrea Oon (San Jose State University). The University Washington’s women’s golf team are one of the top 30 ranked sides in the US and emerged as the national champions in 2016.