Indonesian teen finally wins SLGA Open title

Inez Beatrice Wanamarta hitting an iron shot at the SLGA Amateur Open Championship. She mixed three birdies and a bogey in her final round.
Inez Beatrice Wanamarta hitting an iron shot at the SLGA Amateur Open Championship. She mixed three birdies and a bogey in her final round.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Her last two attempts at winning the Singapore Ladies Golf Association Amateur Open Championship ended in heartbreaking losses, but Inez Beatrice Wanamarta's third try proved a much happier experience.

Not only did she emerge victorious at the Keppel Club yesterday, it was achieved on the back of a thrilling performance.

Indonesia's top-ranked amateur closed with a two-under 70 to erase overnight leader Onkanok Soisuwan's four-shot lead.

She finished on 211 and a stroke clear of Malaysian Nur Durriyah Damian (73), a three-time SEA Games participant.

Thai Onkanok had five bogeys and a double-bogey for a 77 and slumped to third on 214 in the open division which featured 38 players.

Inez, third in 2014 and 2015, said: "This is a special win for me, I wanted it badly after missing out so (narrowly) for the past two years... but my time finally has come."

The win has boosted the 16-year-old's confidence as she seeks to earn a spot in next year's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

She also plans to turn professional after completing her studies at Elyon Christian School in Surabaya next year.

Besides collecting valuable World Amateur Golf Ranking points, winning here has earned Inez a spot at next year's Dalat 1200 Ladies Championship, a US$420,000 (S$580,000) professional tournament in Vietnam on the Korean LPGA Tour.

The prospect of playing in a top-class field is a rare opportunity that she is looking forward to.

She said: "There's no way I can qualify for a LPGA circuit event if I play in Indonesia. So to play in a LPGA event is going to be a great milestone."

Raffles Institution student Sarah Tan recorded a 72 and was Singapore's top finisher in joint-fifth spot on 220.

The 18-year-old said: "I had many opportunities to break par but I couldn't convert them. It's a strong field, and to finish inside the top-10 is a decent result.

"Now I got to cut back on golf and focus on studying for 'A' Levels."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline 'Indonesian teen finally wins SLGA Open title'. Print Edition | Subscribe