Malaysia’s top women amateurs made to wait for shot at Major spots

PETALING JAYA: Our top women amateur golfers will have to wait longer to win a coveted spot in two Major tournaments – the British Open and the Evian Championship.

This comes after the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship has been pushed to Sept 30-Oct 3 next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After the cancellation of this year’s event at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya, Thailand, the third edition of the WAAP was slated to make a comeback at the same venue from Feb 4-7 next year.

Inaugurated in 2018, the WAAP was developed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation to provide a pathway for Asia’s elite female amateurs to compete on the international stage.

The championship is ranked as an elite event in the women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).

The winner earns invitations to play in the British Open and the Evian Championship, as well as an exemption for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

As an added incentive, the winner of the Thailand meet next year can also expect an invitation to the LPGA Thailand and the Singapore Ladies Open, which are stops on the US LPGA Tour and LPGA of Korea Tour respectively.

Malaysia will be represented by their top six golfers on the WAGR with US-based players Alyaa Abdulghany and Natasha Oon expected to carry the nation’s challenge.

Malaysia will be a strong contender for the title if Alyaa, who finished third in the US Women’s Amateur this year, decides to make her debut.

Alyaa, who is a US permanent resident and only started representing Malaysia last year, is still undecided on turning professional.

“We are aware of the event as I’m planning her tournament schedule for 2021, (however) Alyaa is still not sure if she’s turning pro or will remain in school for another year to pursue her Masters,” said Alyaa’s mother Rohaya Esa.

“If she’s not turning pro, for sure she will be playing.”

Malaysia’s best finisher in the tournament was Ashley Lau.

The Sarawakian finished 12th at the Royal Golf Club in Hokota, Japan, last year.

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