Thursday, February 2

Thompson out to defend Sime Darby lpga title

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KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champion, Lexi Thompson of the United States has confirmed her participation in the 2014 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia which is set to tee-off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) in Bukit Kiara, here from Oct 9 to 12.

KLGCC general manager Steven Allan Thielke said, the 19-year-old American teen sensation who
was ranked fifth in the world rankings, would not be the only attraction of the tournament as the organiser had lined up several sideline activities to commemorate the fifth year of the tournament.

“This is probably the best LPGA here in Malaysia with a new slogan ‘Women With Drive’, and the tournament is designed to broaden the appeal of one of Asia’s flagship golf tournaments and lifestyle destinations.

“We expect all the top players will be here including world number six, Michelle Wie of the United States and world number four, Suzann Pettersen of Norway…We can’t confirm their participation just yet, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be here,” he said.

Steven said this to reporters after the launching of the tournament by Sime Darby Berhad chief operating officer Datuk Seri Abd Wahab Maskan at the KLGCC, here, yesterday.

He also noted that six Malaysian-born professionals dubbed the ‘Malaysian Angels’ who are graduates of the tournament’s elite junior development programme, will be playing under the organiser invitees.

They are Michelle Koh, Jean Chua, Kelly Tan, Aretha Pan Herng, Ainil Johani Bakar and Michele Low.

Koh, who emerged as the best Malaysian finisher of last year’s event said, she hoped to finish in the commendable position while not putting higher target by playing against the world best women’s golfers.

“I think definitely the feeling is a little bit different compared to last year as I was playing as an amateur but I’ll try to keep in mind and tell myself that everything is still the same,” said the 23-year old golfer.

A total of 75 players, made up of 63 players from the LPGA tour, six Malaysian and a further six sponsor exemptions, including one place in the Asia Qualifying Tournament, will be vying for glory in the tournament which offers a prize pursue worth US$2 million (RM6.4 million). — Bernama