Monday June 18, 2012
Schoolgirl beats seasoned golfers in amateur tourney
By ANDY CHUA
SIBU: Schoolgirl Ashley Lau not only surprised everybody but also herself when she won the main Ladies’ Gross 54-Hole category in the 14th Sibu Amateur Open Golf Championship.
The student of SJK Chung Hua in Bintulu defied all odds when she beat 11 seasoned contenders in the two-day tournament, which saw golfers vying for the Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr Wong Soon Kai Challenge Trophy.
“I did not expect to win as this was my first participation in the championship. The good weather and the wonderful condition of the Sibu Golf Course could be the contributing factors to my good showing,” she told The Star after the prize presentation ceremony yesterday.
Lau’s total score was 225 while first runner-up, Diana Tham of Miri had to be satisfied with 226 points. Third place went to Kimberley Nelson, also from Miri, with 233 points.
Lau, 12, picked up the sport from her father, Cecil Lau, who is an avid golfer.
“The first time I picked up a golf club was when I was only nine years old. It belonged to my father. From there, I started to get seriously into the sport. My father has always been the strong force behind my success — he’s my mentor,” said the little golfer, whose handicap is eight.
Lau practises four hours from 2pm to 6pm at a time, four days a week.
Asked about her ambition, Lau — whose golf idol is Paula Creamer of the US — said she would want to turn professional one day.
Meanwhile in the Ladies’ Nett 36-Hole category, Alice Repet emerged winner with a total score of 143 points, followed by Nancy Hii (147 points) and Carrie Anne (155 points) as first and second runner-up, respectively.
In the Men’s Gross 54-Hole category, the domination of 10-time winner Lee Ka Tung in the event came to an end when he was beaten by another seasoned golfer, Lau Ching Leong who collected 211 points.
At third place was Ka Tung’s brother, Lee Ka Tiong with 210 points also.
The top three winners in the Men’s Nett 36-Hole category were Roger Wong (136 points), Steven Hii (139 points) and Zaini Abdullah (140 points).
A total of 84 golfers took part in the prestigious championship.
Prizes were given away by Sibu Golf Club president Lau Kah Ding and its captain Lau Hui Kui.