Golf: Singapore's Jennifer Yan wins two trophies

Jennifer Yan, 17, won the Ladies' British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at the Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland.

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based golfer Jennifer Yan is fast making a habit of winning, after lifting her second trophy in as many weeks on Friday.

The Raffles Girls' School student posted a five-under 69 to total 14-under 282 and top the 98-strong field at the Ladies' British Open Amateur Strokeplay Championship.

The 17-year-old beat 20-year-old Scot Gemma Dryburgh (71) by two strokes.

Jennifer, who holds a China passport but grew up and lives in Singapore where she is a permanent resident, had won the Girls' British Open Amateur Championship a little more than a week ago.

Then, she became the first Chinese to win the tournament in its 94-year history and is now believed to be the first to complete the double in the same year.

She told The Sunday Times: "I was a little nervous, knowing it's usually harder to win twice in a row, but I've always tried to stay in the present."

An opening six-under 68 - a course record for the particular variation of tees devised by the Ladies Golf Union for this championship - had given Jennifer a two-stroke lead after two rounds at the Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland.

But the world's 33rd-ranked amateur was made to work for the win after sharing a five-stroke lead on nine-under 213 with Dryburgh, a two-time winner on the US college circuit with Tulane University, going into the last round.

Said Jennifer: "In the third round, nerves got to me a bit, thinking of the gravity of this win."

But, despite being the last to leave the practice green at 8pm the night before, she turned in a solid performance coupled with some solid putting when it mattered most, posting an eagle and five birdies in the final round to seal the victory.

For the 2010 Asian Games double silver medallist, there could hardly have been a better place to win than at the club which inaugurated the first Open Championship in 1860.

She said: "Winning this tournament means a lot to me, with an incredibly strong field and at the prestigious Prestwick Golf Club."

England's Melissa Reid, a four-time winner on the European Tour, who was also its Rookie of the Year in 2008, had won this tournament in 2007.

The victory gives Jennifer, who is based at the Seletar Country Club and is coached by Australian Greg Anketell, a berth at next year's Women's British Open, the second time she will be competing at the Major after finishing tied-47th last year.

Jennifer will next play for Shanghai at the National Games in China.

And while the affable teenager has her sights on turning professional one day, she is in no hurry to do so.

She said: "It is my dream to become a professional golfer, but I'm just taking it one step at a time."

maychen@sph.com.sg


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