Alyaa misses chance to join Kelly in US Open

  • Golf
  • Sunday, 15 Nov 2020

So close yet so far: Alyaa Abdulghany missed the cut by an agonising two spots. — USGA

PETALING JAYA: Hopes of seeing two Malaysians competing at next month’s US Women’s Open for the first time have been dashed.

The country’s top-ranked amateur Alyaa Abdulghany narrowly missed out on the opportunity to join national No. 1 Kelly Tan on an invitational card for the US$5.5mil (RM22.68mil) showpiece.

The 21-year-old was hoping to be part of the 156-player field via the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), where the leading 20 players as of Nov 4 who applied to play before the Nov 11 entry deadline would earn exemption to the prestigious meet at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, from Dec 10-13.

Alya, who is ranked No. 29, missed the cut by an agonising two spots as the last berth had gone to No. 27 Allisen Corpuz of the US.

There were seven players ranked above her who had either qualified through other categories or did not apply to play.

Australia’s Gabriela Ruffels (No. 10) and China’s Lei Ye (No. 18) had already qualified by virtue of being last year’s US Women’s Amateur and US Girls’ Junior champions respectively.

World No. 4 Yu Chiang-hou of Taiwan, Germany’s Paula Schulz-Hanssen (No. 9), South Korea’s Lee Ye-won (No. 21), Thailand’s Jaravee Boonchant (No. 24) and Japan’s Sara Ota (No. 26) were among those who had forgone their playing opportunities, most probably due to Covid-19 concerns.

Alyaa, who is a US permanent resident, was ranked a career-best No. 24 after her historic joint-third finish at the US Women’s Amateur in August.

Unfortunately, a lack of collegiate tournaments in the US, has derailed her hopes of making further advances in her ranking.

Kelly, who qualified two weeks ago, will be making her third appearance.

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