KUALA LUMPUR: Golfer Ainil Johani Bakar is setting out on a whistle-stop tour of Switzerland next month – hoping to make big noise in Europe.
The 30-year-old has signed up for three tournaments – the Flumserberg Ladies Open from Sept 4-6, Ladies Swiss Open (Sept 10-12) and Lavaux Ladies Open (Sept 23-25) – on her return to the Ladies European Tour (LET) and second-tier LET Access Series (LETAS) action after 10 months.
Of these tournaments, only the €200,000 (RM988,000) Ladies Swiss Open is a LET leg.
Ainil, who leaves for Switzerland next week, has vowed to pick up where she left off in October last year.
Then, Ainil finished a respectable tied-15th in the Road to La Largue Final, a season-ending event contested by only top 60 LETAS players, in France.
“I’m so excited that I’ll be back on Tour soon, ” said Ainil, who’s a one-time Ladies Asian Golf Tour champion.
“I have been training very hard and worked a lot on my game over the last few months, and it’s time to put it to the test.
“Hopefully, I won’t be taking too long to shake off the rust. It will most likely be my only trip to Europe and I aim to come back with a couple of fine results.
“If possible, the ultimate goal is surely to try win my first title there since I last captured the Ladies Finnish Open (on LETAS) in 2016.”
Ainil, also a two-time LETAS runner-up, said she would only compete in Switzerland as it is the only nation she can enter for now.
Switzerland is not a member of the 27-state European Union (EU) which has currently shuts its borders to many countries, including Malaysia.
“I would love to play in more tournaments in the remainder of the LET and LETAS season, but I can’t travel to the other European countries, ” said Ainil.
“But playing fewer tournaments isn’t going to affect my playing status. All players will get to keep their card on both Tours until next year.”
Despite the limited action in Europe, Ainil still has plenty of options at home – thanks to the commencement of the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour next month.
She can still play in three meets from October to November, namely the PGM Northport Ladies Championship, PGM UMW Ladies Championship and PGM Kinrara Ladies Championship.
Ainil is the reigning Order of Merit winner. Last year, she topped the season standings after raking in RM59,500 from 10 events.