Young Mirabel scorches the greens

Mirabel hopes to make an impact on the national golfing scene.

MEET Mirabel Ting Ern Hui who is already a winner on the golf course at the age of 10.

While most youngsters her age are more interested in smartphone games, she prowls the golf courses in the country, upstaging adult competitors on the fairway.

Mirabel, now 11, is Miri and Sarawak’s golfing gem. The golf ball is the biggest truth in this sport and she hits it square. She is a unique young talent and her swelling trophy cabinet speaks for itself.

This golfing prodigy can drive the ball a jaw-dropping 235 yards, putting many adult golfers to shame. It’s both a gift and a challenge. And she is gunning to be a world beater from Sarawak with an eye on donning the country’s colours abroad.

She looks up to world champion Kiwi Lydia Ko and American golf champion Michelle Wie as her role models. And she has the talent and drive to emulate her idols. And as for size, she is bigger and taller than your average primary six girl pupil.

Mirabel bursts onto women’s golfing scene in the state in May this year winning the Sarawak Women’s Golf Amateur Championship in Sibu and is aiming higher.

Her grandpa Ng Siaw Pheng is an avid golfer and his love for the greens has rubbed off on her at an early age. She picked up the game at five after following gramp to Miri Golf Club (KGM) to watch him play. To develop her game, she enrolled for the KGM  Junior Golfers’ Development Programme and started winning at the age of 10 in 2015.

American pro Michelle Wie became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship at the age of 10 and went on to become the youngest winner of the US Women’s Amateur Public Links and also the youngest player to qualify for an LPGA Tour event. Wie turned pro shortly before her 16th birthday in 2005.

As for Mirabel, she has bagged four titles since 2015 — Sibu Amateur Open (2015), Bintulu Amateur Open (2016), KGM Open (2016) and Sarawak Amateur Open (2017). She is the youngest player to win the Ladies’ Section in these competitions. And she is still improving.

Mirabel burst onto the state ladies’ golfing scene by winning the 29th Sarawak Amateur Ladies’ Open Golf Championship in Sibu.

In her first foray into Sarawak’s amateur open competition, Mirabel made 228 strokes, followed by Zulaikah Zurziana Nasser also on 228, and Eliza Mae Kho on 231, to land the championship title of the 29th Sarawak Amateur Ladies’ Open Golf Championship in Sibu.

Mirabel who is in standard six at a private school in Miri this year, is looking forward to representing Sarawak in the Malaysia Schools Sports Council (MSSM) Golf Championship in Kuala Lumpur this month.

“I hope to make an impact on the national golfing scene,” she told thesundaypost.

At 11, Mirabel is probably the only one her age in the country to play with a handicap of one. Her doting grandpa believes she has what it takes to turn pro within three to five years, if given professional guidance and training.

“She is really looking forward to professional training and hoping the state government could help her realise her dream of bringing golfing glory to Sarawak and Malaysia,” Ng said.

Currently, Mirabel does not have a professional coach to help her attain her full potential. She outgrew the KGM Junior Development Programme in 2016 and can now only play in the adult category.

Her achievements have been a source of pride for Miri golfers who are prepared to chip in with donations to help her get proper training.

“We hope the Chief Minister or Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports can help to provide Mirabel with the best professional training abroad,” Ng and his golfing buddy Sie Hie Kai said.

The Miri golfing fraternity believes it is a good cause to help Mirabel keep the Sarawak and Malaysia’s flags flying high in the international golfing arena. She has a burning desire to become a world beater from the Land of the Hornbills and she is not even 12 yet.

Representing Sarawak at the national inter-school golf championship in Pahang.

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