Golfers ‘putt’ heart and soul into it but finish second best

  • Golf
  • Monday, 09 Dec 2019

NATASHA Andrea Oon and Ashley Lau put their heart and soul into the game but it was not enough for them to end the nation’s 18-year wait for the first gold medal in golf at the SEA Games.

Malaysia went down 0.5-1.5 to the Philippines in the women’s team final at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac City, Clark, yesterday.

Bianca Pagdanganan, the individual gold medal winner, gave the host a head start by triumphing 3 and 2 (three up with two holes to go) over Natasha before Lois Kaye halved the second match with Ashley to seal the victory for the Philippines.

Despite missing out on winning the first gold for Malaysia since 2001, Ashley was pleased to help the women’s side improve on their bronze medal outing in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.

“We’re pleased with the silver medal.

“We played our hardest to win gold, but the Philippines are a great team and we knew it was going to be a battle to win,” said Ashley.

“Overall, we’re happy. One better than last year, hopefully this team will get another opportunity in the next SEA Games to win the gold.”

Ashley, who came in for struggling teammate Alyaa Abdulghany, certainly did well against Lois as she almost gifted Malaysia an equaliser to drag the home side into a sudden-death playoff.

“I think the 17th hole would have been a huge turn, I had a chance for birdie to square the match but I missed it,” said Ashley.

“I thought I played great despite the tough conditions today, but Lois played better. But all in all, great playing by both of us.”

National coach Lim Ai Lian hailed the fantastic efforts of Natasha and Ashley.

“Ashley did a good job coming from two down (after four holes) and then fought all the way until the end,” said Ai Lian, who’s one of the last Malaysian women’s golf gold medallists when she won the team title with Lim Siew Ai and Irene Yeoh.

“We did come close on the 17th. It would have been nice if the putt went in.

“What mattered most is that they gave it their best.”

The last time Malaysia tasted success in golf was through Airil Rizman Zahari, S. Sivachandhran, Shaaban Hussin and Sahal Saedin in the men’s team event at the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Games.

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Natasha Andrea Oon , Ashley Lau


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