Good run abroad gives MGA selection headache

PETALING JAYA: Things are certainly looking up for the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) as they seek to continue their medal-winning run in the women’s golf competition at the Vietnam SEA Games later this year.

There has been plenty of encouraging news coming from their overseas-based players of late and this time it’s about Jeneath Wong and Allycia Gan.

Australia-based Jeneath got off to a flying start with two victories, one runner-up and two top-10 spots under her belt in all her five starts to date.

The 18-year-old clinched the Victorian Junior Amateur in January and Riversdale Cup in March.

These results helped her to become the fourth-highest ranked Malaysian on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) at No. 212 behind Alyaa Abdulghany (No. 41), Natasha Andrea Oon (No. 62) and Mirabel Ting (No. 186).

In the United States, 20-year-old Allycia made a strong start to the year for Missouri Western State University by claiming four top-six finishes in six appearances thus far.

Even in the other two starts, Allycia did not fare worse than a 20th placing.

The highlight was in February when Allycia won the UCM Southern Invitational – her first start of 2021 – for her first individual title in the US.

In March, Allycia has been named the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association’s Golfer of the Week.

The other golfer to have secured a US collegiate golf title was Nur Syazani Amalia Shahzan of Oakland University.

She won the Nevel Meade Collegiate championship last month.

Alyaa (University of Southern California) and Warda Amira Abdul Rawof (East Tennessee State University) also impressed by emerging runners-up at the Gold Rush in February and Kiawah Island Classic in March.

The fine run of form by national golfers should leave the MGA with a welcome selection headache.

In the Philippines two years ago, the Malaysian women’s golf team led by Natasha impressed with an unexpected runners-up finish in the team event.

The team comprising Alyaa and Ashley Lau also knocked out defending champions Thailand before losing to the formidable home side spearheaded by Bianca Pagdanganan, now an established LPGA Tour star.

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