The 18-year-old made an impression on her Tour debut by finishing runner-up to Aretha Pan at the PGM MNRB Ladies Championship at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Shah Alam last Saturday.
Winnie’s solid final-round three-under 69 saw her finish just a shot behind Aretha, a seasoned professional, on a three-over 291 total.
She could have earned RM7,000 for her efforts but as an amateur she is not entitled to any prize money.
“I’ll get them next time!” said Winnie, who studies and plays collegiate golf for University of Washington.
“I’m very happy with my achievement. It’s my first and best outing yet (in a professional event).
“There’s still three events remaining, I hope to play in all of them if it doesn’t clash with my mid-terms.
“The school has shifted its classes online for the remainder of the year and I will only fly back to the US in January.
“So, before that, I’m going to give my best to win my next event,” added Winnie, who boasts 14 titles thus far.
Winnie has proved over the years she is no pushover against her more illustrious professionals.
At the 2017 LPGA Malaysia, she finished 64th in a world class-field of 78 players.
A year later, Winnie justified her sponsor’s faith by finishing a creditable 16th at the Hong Kong Ladies Open.
With three years left in her collegiate golf career, she aims to emulate the success of compatriots such as Alyaa Abdulghany, Natasha Andrea Oon and Loy Hee Ying, who had made their presence felt in the United States.
“My goal is to win at least a collegiate event and to excel in studies too,” added Winnie, who scored a 3.77 for overall grade point average (GPA) in the first year.
“I received the Academic All-American in my freshman year, so I’m hoping to continue the streak.
“Natasha is definitely an inspiration to us all and future college golfers in Malaysia.
“Not only does she get good grades, she also plays immaculately on the course. Love her attitude and determination. There’s Alyaa too, who’s setting the benchmark.”
Winnie competed in five events for her university last season with her best showing being tied 26th at the Cardinal Cup.
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