Golf: Indonesian teen bags SLGA Amateur Open C'ship; earns ticket to 2017 Korean LPGA pro event

Inez Beatrice Wanamarta competing at the SLGA Amateur Open Championships.
Inez Beatrice Wanamarta competing at the SLGA Amateur Open Championships.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Indonesia's top amateur golfer Inez Beatrice Wanamarta claimed the Singapore Ladies Golf Association (SLGA) Amateur Open Championship on Friday.

She topped a field of 95 players to win the event at the Keppel Club and also earned a coveted invitation to play at next year's The Dalat 1200 Ladies Championship, a US$420,000 (S$580,000) professional tournament in Vietnam on the Korean LPGA Tour.

Entering the final round of the three-day SLGA event, Inez was four strokes behind overnight leader Onkanok Soisuwan of Thailand.

The 16-year-old teenager from Surabaya fired three birdies with only one bogey to close with a two-under 70 for a total of five-under 211.

She finished a stroke ahead of Malaysian 21-year-old golfer Nur Durriyah Damian (73). Onkanok, 15, collapsed as she shot five bogeys and a double-bogey for a 77 and slumped to third spot on 214.

An elated Inez said: "This is a special win for me, I wanted it badly after missing out so (narrowly) for the past two years. I think I'm always finishing among the top five or three, but my time finally has come.

"It's a major tournament and I've played with these players but lost to them. But this time I managed to finish victorious."

The win has also boosted her confidence in making the SEA Games squad next year. More significantly, she has taken another step towards her goal of turning professional after completing her studies at the Elyon Christian School in Surabaya next year.

She said: "It is every player's dream to play in the (US-based) LPGA and I hope to turn professional. Every month I'll miss a week of school due to golf, but my school supports me so much that they shifted my exam dates."

Meanwhile, Raffles Institution student Sarah Tan (72, 220) was the top Singaporean finisher in joint-fifth spot.

Sarah, 18, 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 nonetheless a decent result.

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