By Jugjet Singh
AMATEUR Kelly Tan stole the thunder at the inaugural Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA when she ended jointh-32nd among a field of 60 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
Kelly had a one-over 72 in the final round for a three-day total of three-over 216.
However, Malaysian pro Jean Chua blew a chance of finishing in the top-10 bracket when she hit 11 shots to complete her par-four 18th holey yesterday.
Sixteen-year-old Kelly said the LPGA was a perfect platform for her to make a challenge in the Asian Games in China.
"It was simply great because I finished as the best Malaysian and there are many established professional who ended up lower than me.
"Although my aim was to finish in the top-10 to give myself a birthday gift, I am still glad with my three day effort," said the lass who will turn 17 on Tuesday.
Jean had rounds of 72 and 68, going into the final round, but ended up with an 81 for a total of eight over 221 to finish 53rd.
Yesterday, Jean started well on the first tee, and only had a bogey and a double bogey to show in the front, however, she blew her top in the end-game.
It all started with a bogey on the 16th and 17th, and then the miserable 11 shots to complete the final hole of the day.
"I had super 53 holes in this tournament and was in a position to finish at least eighth with three-under, but poor course and anger management spoiled my LPGA debut party," said Jean.
She blamed it partly on her caddy, and also herself: "I asked my caddy the distance for my final approach and he said 100 yards, so I took the shot but it fell short in the water. In my haste, and anger, I dropped the ball and hit it again, but it was short and fell in the water again.
"We checked the yardage in the book, and found out that it was further and I tried again. This time I felt it was a great approach shot, but it fell in the water again and it was all over for me."
What did she learn from the tournament: "I was enjoying every moment of it, until the final hole. My family came today to cheer me and after the front nine, I looked up the leaderboard and there was a great chance of finishing at least eighth if I played three under.
"I pushed too hard after that, and the rest is history for me to learn from."
Her birdies were on the sixth and 10th.
Two other Malaysian amateurs Aretha Pan finished 57th on 31 over 224, while Diana Tham was 59th on 34 over 247.
The last spot went to Malaysian professional Cindy Lee on 37 over 250.