PETALING JAYA: Professional golfer Loy Hee Ying (pic) wants to turn her late mother’s wish into reality – by becoming a player on the LPGA Tour.
The 23-year-old from Johor, who turned pro recently, has given herself three years to make it to the pinnacle of women’s professional golf, achieved by only two other Malaysians – Lim Siew Ai and Kelly Tan.
Many others have tried and failed, but Hee Ying is convinced that she has what it takes to get there.
“I know this journey (to LPGA Tour) is not easy, but I want to achieve it because this is also the dream of my late mother Wong Nyet Chin. I wish to make this a reality, hopefully by 2022, ” said Hee Ying.
Hee Ying was only 12 when her mother died of lung cancer.
And due to the weight of mounting medical bills, Hee Ying almost quit golf because of financial constraints faced by her family.
Fortunately, she persevered and received a timely boost by making it to the national team.
“My dad (Loy Heng Chiew) got me into golf when I was nine and my mum was very supportive although she doesn’t know much about golf then, ” recalled Hee Ying.
“I still remember vividly the days when she will just pull a plastic chair to the practice green and watch me practise for hours.
“She passed two years after battling with her illness and I almost quit golf because dad was overwhelmed with medical bills.
“But soon after, I got into national team and the tournament expenses were paid for. I also got into the CIMB junior development programme and I was introduced to PGA teaching professional, with whom, I’m still working until today, ” said Hee Ying, who thanked Malaysian Golf Association and Malaysian Ladies Amateur Golf Association for playing a part in her amateur career.”
Hee Ying has also proven herself in the United States collegiate golf scene where she won three titles and registered 23 top-10 finishes in 42 appearances in her four years donning the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) colours from 2016-2019.
She became the first Malaysian ever to compete at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club, the venue for the US Masters.
“With the right support, I believe I could make it onto the big league, ” said Hee Ying, who graduated with an accounting degree with flying colours of GPA 3.9 (of maximum 4.0).
“I have proven it throughout my collegiate years and I know my best years are still ahead of me.
But with the Covid-19 putting a stop to all sporting events around the globe, Hee Ying knows that she will have to bide her time to play her first event as a professional.
Hee Ying holds a card to play on the second tier Symetra Tour, which is one of the two avenues to qualify for the top-flight LPGA Tour. The top 10 money leaders at the end of the season will earn a promotion to the LPGA Tour.
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