HOKOTA (Japan): Mirabel Ting Ern Hui showed she is one of the bright talents in the Malaysian golf scene when she made an impressive debut in the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific (WAAP) championship.
Mirabel is only 13 and the youngest in the field but she did not let the lack of international experience hinder her from having a swinging time.
The Sarawak-born golfer got off to a splendid start in one of the biggest women’s amateur championships with an even-par 72 for a share of 33rd spot at The Royal Golf Club here yesterday.
United States-based Natasha Andrea Oon was also tied for 33rd spot with an even-par 72.
Fellow Sarawakian Ashley Wen birdied the par-five 16th hole to finish as the best-placed Malaysian with a one-under 71 for a share of 19th spot.
But the performance of the day belonged to Mirabel, who could have finished in the top 20 had she not bogeyed the 17th hole. She also had a double bogey on the par-four sixth hole.
The 2018 Malaysia Games (Sukma) silver medallist was pleased with her opening day performance.
“I hit a couple of birdies but I also got a few bogeys. Anyway, it was lots of fun for me,” said Mirabel, who became the youngest-ever golfer to win a tournament sanctioned by the Malaysian Golf Association event last year with her triumph at the Perak Amateur Open.
“I was a bit worried in the morning whether I was able to play well as I’ve been having problems with my iron shots in practice. I changed my swing and I’m still adjusting over the last couple of weeks.
“But I told myself not to worry too much and just enjoy the game. I’m happy to be where I am.”
Mirabel, who is from Miri but has been studying in Australia since early this year, headed back to the putting greens for a little bit of practice after lunch.
“I need to improve on my short game, which I think will be crucial,” she added.
National No. 1 Loy Hee Ying did not have a good opening round when the US-based golfer finished with a five-over 77 to finish in 63rd spot with fellow Malaysian Liyana Durisic.
Another Malaysian girl Vinisha Gunaseelan was ranked 72nd with a seven-over 79.
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