Tuesday October 16, 2012
Confident Jean aims to qualify on merit next year
By S. RAMAGURU
KUALA LUMPUR: Professional golfer Jean Chua has played in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia as a sponsor’s invite for the last three years.
But the US-based golfer is now ready to earn her ticket rather than continue to hope for an invite to play against the top stars on home ground.
Jean, who finished the latest edition in 66th position, said yesterday that she wants to try and make the cut on merit next year.
“Yes, for the last three years Sime Darby had been kind enough to give me a spot in the tournament. I am really proud to take part in the only LPGA tournament held in Malaysia. But I am not sure that it is a good thing,” she said.
“This is because there is pressure on me to try and justify my inclusion and I have not been able to turn in the kind of performance that I wanted to.”
Jean finished with a four-round total of 303 – 75-73-79-76 – and readily admitted that “this has been one of my worst performances”.
“This is a performance that I want to forget. I was not able to get it right from the start. I wanted to keep it simple and play my game. But, in the end, the pressure got to me,” she said.
“I’m off to Indonesia for this weekend’s Jakarta Open and I just want to enjoy myself out there. I do not want to add any pressure to my game.
“For next year I want to make the Sime Darby tournament on merit and play for myself. I will try for a LPGA Tour card by going to the Q-school in November. I will try very hard to make it. That way I can the set a top 60 target and qualify for the LPGA Malaysia.”
Besides Jean, Malaysia also had three others in the tournament, which ended on Sunday.
Amateur Aretha Pan was the best Malaysian finisher in 61st place, professional Ainil Johari was 64th and 16-year-old amateur Sarfina Vinotha was 68th.
Aretha is all ready to join the professional rank and has given herself six months to work it out. She wants to play in the Japan Tour for a start and will take part in the Q-school in Japan next May.
“If I can make the cut then I will try and make the transition to the professional ranks. I have played in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia for three years and I have seen how competitive it is at the professional level. It is an achievement for me to be the best Malaysian finisher,” she said.
Aretha’s biggest challenge in the next six months will not only be about improving her game, but to find sponsors to give her a shot at turning pro. Besides Jean and Aretha, Ainil will also compete in the Jakarta Open.
It is indeed a rare chance for the trio to play in back-to-back professional events. Hopefully, they will produce better results than they did at the KL Golf and Country Club.