PETALING JAYA: Malaysian professional golfer Genevieve Ling has not let anything stop her from pursuing her LPGA Tour dream – not even Covid-19.
Due to the lack of playing opportunities in Asia, the 26-year-old has turned to the United States to give the Women’s All-Pro Tour (WAPT) a shot to reignite her career.
Established in late 2018, the Tour is regarded as the third-tier developmental circuit which offers pathways to Symetra Tour (second-tier) and ultimately, the LPGA Tour.
Genevieve’s willingness to explore uncharted waters has paid off after she finished a commendable tied-sixth at the Hot Springs Championship in Arkansas last week.
It was certainly a morale-boosting result, especially having missed the cut at the season-opening Mackie Construction Ladies Pro Champ in Texas.
She made her first cut at the Wichita Falls Championship, but could only come in joint 45th.
“Building confidence through good results is important but I think it’s more important to build confidence outside of my results, ” said Genevieve, who represented Malaysia at the 2015 Singapore SEA Games before turning professional in 2017.
“Learning to be confident about myself and my ability is something that I’ve been working on, so it’s great to see it pay off and getting a good result on the tour last week was just a bonus!”
Genevieve believes she has made the right move to base herself in the US although the earnings there could barely cover her touring expenses.
Her big effort last week netted her only US$1,450 (RM6,000).
After all, it wasn’t as if she had any choice as she could not play in both the China LPGA Tour and Taiwan LPGA Tour due to travel restrictions, despite holding cards in both circuits.
“The WAPT is undoubtedly a great tour. However, making money on this tour is close to impossible.
“Especially with the expenditure that comes with playing on this tour, ” said Genevieve.
“Taiwan and China are great tours where you can make a living playing them because the prize money can cover expenses and when you do well enough, you can have some savings as well.”
Although she has stayed in America for only about a month now, it was enough to convince Genevieve that this is the place to be for her.
“WAPT is a tour that can lead me to my ultimate goal which is the LPGA, ” said Genevieve.
“I feel more comfortable in America because firstly, there isn’t a language barrier like when I play in places in Asia.
“Also, because I came here for school and lived here for four years, I’ve always felt like it’s a nice place to live and play golf.”
Genevieve’s immediate goal over the next two months is to place herself in the top five on the WAPT ‘Race to Stage II’ season rankings in late July.
If she succeeds, it will earn her an exemption into Stage II of the LPGA qualifying school in October in Florida.
There’s also an added incentive in each WAPT tournament where the top-two finishers will be rewarded with starts into a subsequent Symetra Tour event.