Liyana is latest Malaysian to hit the big time in American Collegiate golf

Breakthrough: Liyana Durisic scored her maiden victory at the Wolverine Invitational on Tuesday. Fellow Malaysian Ashley Lau (pic, below) finished joint fourth. — Photo courtesy of Iowa State University’s Athletics website.

PETALING JAYA: Another week, another Malaysian champion has emerged in the highly-competitive United States collegiate golf scene.

This time, it’s Liyana Durisic’s turn to shine as she emulated Zulaikah Nurziana Nasser’s feat in becoming a first-time winner when she finished as joint-champion at the Wolverine Invitational in Michigan on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Liyana, representing Iowa State University (ISU), posted rounds of 71, 67, and 72 to finish with identical three-under 210 total with University of Michigan’s (U-M) Mikhaela Schulz in the two-day event which took place at the U-M Golf Course in Ann Arbor.

The duo won by three shots from University of Illnois’ Chen Siyan.

It was a well deserved victory for Liyana, who has been performing consistently since joining ISU in the 2019-20 season with 10 top-25 finishes in 14 outings.

“I’m glad I started my third season well. Competing among top 50 ranked teams was very exciting!” said Liyana.

“I went into the rounds with no expectations and a clear mind. I’ve been wanting a college title ever since my freshman year and it’s been a blast checking this off my list.

“I’ll definitely strive for many more!

“I also had a strong support system; my coaches, teammates, family and this win was really meaningful.”

The victory was also emotional for her as it came just days after her grandmother’s passing.

“I lost my grandmother two days before playing and I just wanted to play for her and give my very best! She would’ve wanted that,” she said.

“Having someone to play for was a huge deal for me this week and I’ll keep at it.”

Ashley Lau (U-M) and Warda Amira Abdul Rawof (ISU) were the other Malaysians to have impressed in their respective first appearances of the season.

Ashley recorded 73-69-72 to finish with a 214 total for joint-fourth placing in the 90-player contest while Warda shared 26th spot after carding 75-71-74 for 220.

Ashley’s efforts helped U-M to be crowned team winners as the hosts posted a one-under 851 to finish 12 strokes ahead of second-placed University of Virginia.

ISU came in fourth out of 16 teams with a 871 total.

Liyana’s triumph has kept the fine run going for Malaysian golfers in the US as it came a week after Zulaikah (Sam Houston State University) won the USA Intercollegiate in Alabama.

Before them, four others have also secured their breakthrough win this year namely Ashley, Audrey Tan (University of North Texas), Allycia Gan (Missouri Western State University) and Nur Syazani Amalia Shahzan (Oakland University).

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