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Ren looks to light up Laguna National

Updated: 2024-06-14 09:29
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The second edition of the $100,000 Singapore Ladies Masters, sanctioned by the China Ladies Professional Golf Association (CLPGA), tees off at Laguna National Golf Resort Club on Friday. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

China's Ren Yijia is ready to bring her youthful exuberance to the Singapore Ladies Masters and show her winning form all over again when the second edition of the $100,000 event tees off at Laguna National Golf Resort Club on Friday.

The Singapore Ladies Masters, sanctioned by the China Ladies Professional Golf Association (CLPGA), features 132 players from 14 countries and regions and is the only tournament on China's premier women's golf circuit held outside China in the 2024 season.

At 14 years, 10 months and 15 days, Ren became the CLPGA's youngest winner when she won the Beijing Women's Challenge after defeating 41-year-old veteran Pan Yanhong in a playoff last month.

When asked about the goals she has set for herself this week, Ren said: "This will be the first time I'm playing in a competitive tournament in Singapore.

"I have been here on holidays before, but it will be my first time competing in a professional golf tournament here. It's exciting.

"I do not want to put too much pressure on myself, but obviously the goal is to do well again and, if I can do that, the results will show."

Singapore's Sydnie Ng is hoping to create a similar impression as Ren on home soil. The 13-year-old is making her tournament debut as the youngest player and is looking forward to the challenge.

Chinese teen, Ren Yijia, will be the rising star to watch at this week’s Singapore Ladies

"I want to keep improving, and I'm thankful for the opportunities that Lyn Yeo (tournament organizer and founder of LLD Sports) and Laguna National have given me to continue to grow as a player.

"Competing in the SingaporeLadies Masters will give me the chance to do just that, and it'll be wonderful if I can achieve what Shannon Tan (the 2023 Singapore Ladies Masters champion) did," said Ng.

Meanwhile, China's Ji Yuai will be seeking redemption after a heartbreaking loss to Tan by one shot last year. The 19-year-old believes that the loss has shaped her into a much better player, as she went on to make her breakthrough at the Tianjin Women's Open in April this year.

"It's nice to be back in Singapore. It was disappointing not to have won last year, but that's golf. I took the positives from last year's defeat and came back stronger with my wire-to-wire win in Tianjin. I hope to continue this winning run in Singapore," said the 19-year-old.

Hong Kong's Arianna Lau is returning to the scene of her famous win at the CLPGQ series, where she punched her ticket to this week's event with a commanding five-shot victory two weeks ago.

The 16-year-old served notice of her talent when she won the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) Junior Championships last year and will be aiming to punch above her weight against the field of established professionals this week.

"This is my first CLPGA event and I'm really excited to be able to test myself against more experienced players. I believe I'll become a stronger player after this experience.

"I have good momentum and hope to keep it up. I just need to trust myself and see how well I can do this week," said Lau.

The tournament will also feature international players, such as Thailand's Kan Bunnabodee and 15-year-old amateur Arisa Bintachitt, Japan's Julia Kurata and South Korea's Jung Hyun-woo, as well as Singapore's other hopeful, Athena Ni, who is set to play collegiate golf in the United States for the University of Washington this year.

The top 60 professional players, including ties, from the opening two rounds will advance to the final round of the Singapore Ladies Masters on Sunday.

Yeo said: "We look forward to the start of the Singapore Ladies Masters tomorrow. It has always been my dream to produce champions. I'm so happy that I managed to fulfill that with Shannon last year, and she's now on her way to playing in the Olympics. I hope we can unearth more future talent this week.

"Away from the course, the Singapore Ladies Masters has also given us the opportunity to strengthen our friendship with CLPGA. They have been a key supporter since I founded the Singapore Ladies Masters and we look forward to more success working together.

"Of course, I also hope that the Singapore Ladies Masters will better facilitate communications between China and Singapore.

"The tournament will definitely enhance the sports and cultural exchanges between the two countries, as more Singaporean teens will be encouraged to travel to China and take part in CLPGA events."


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