Golf: Koh is first Singaporean to play Korean LPGA Tour event

When she tees off next Friday on the first day of The Dalat at 1200 Ladies' Championship in Vietnam, Koh Sock Hwee will become the first Singaporean golfer to play in the Korean LPGA Tour.

"Korean golfers are really dominant in the LPGA at the moment, so I felt that this would be a good experience to learn from them and to improve my own game," said the 27-year-old. "I am really trying to get into as many overseas tournaments as possible, so this was a good opportunity for me which came along at the right time."

Koh, who turned professional a month ago, says that she does not feel pressured by her status as the face of women's golf in Singapore.

"I try not to give it much thought and instead focus on my own game. The pressure to perform comes from my own expectations," she said. "Hopefully, down the road, there will be other female golfers. It would be fun to have another Singaporean golfer to share my experiences with."

This will be her first tournament outside Singapore since turning pro.

"This is my first time travelling overseas without the national team, so it is definitely going to be different from what I am used to. I had never even heard of Dalat before being invited to this tournament, so I am really eager to explore a new place and a new course."

Koh hopes that this tournament will be a first step in a successful season.

"I am hoping to take part in many more overseas tournaments this year, as there are not many tournaments within Singapore itself. Later in the year I hope to be taking part in a few more international competitions, as well as the Tour's qualifying tournament later in the year."

Through the LPGA qualifying tournament, she is hoping to become the first Singaporean player to earn membership. The first stage of the event will be at the Mission Hills Country Club in California in August.

At the HSBC Women's Champions here early this month, she finished tied for 59th place, the first time in the tournament's history that a Singaporean golfer did not finished last.

Koh will be looking to build on the momentum she gained from that performance. However, her main focus is on her own game.

"I am hoping to make the cut next week, but I am trying not to think too much about it," she said. "I just want to go out there and play my best."

This article was first published on March 17, 2016.
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