Conclusively proving that age is no barrier in golf is the aim of Jie-En Lin and Sabrina Wong at this week’s sixth Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship.
Making their WAAP debuts at Siam Country Club’s Waterside Course from 1-4 February, Chinese Taipei’s Lin and Hong Kong, China’s Wong are the two youngest players in the elite, 90-strong field.
While Lin turned 13 last September, Scotland-based Wong won’t reach her teens until October this year.
However, displaying a maturity belying their tender years – both on and off the course – neither could be accused of lacking confidence or being overawed at the esteemed company they’re keeping in the region’s premier amateur event for women.
Lin, in particular, has multiple reasons for believing she can contend over the course at which her compatriot Ting-Hsuan Huang triumphed in the fourth edition of the WAAP in late 2022.
Although Huang is unable to return to Siam Country Club this week due to college commitments in the United States of America, her presence and influence will be felt by her young compatriot.
“I look up to her and am motivated by her winning the WAAP,” said Lin, who this week hopes to benefit from being in possession of the very same yardage book which Huang used en route to her victory here 16 months ago, including the hole-by-hole notes she penned in Chinese characters.
“We’ve been referring to it a lot,” said Zheng-Yao Lin, Jie-En’s father and caddie.
The ‘handover’ took place last month in Chinese Taipei when Huang returned to play in a professional event. Knowing she would be unable to make the trip to Thailand for the WAAP, she wanted the yardage book to be put to good use and duly forwarded it to Lin.
That’s not the only reason why Lin is so bullish, having struck a rich vein of form that has seen her win her last three World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®) events – the 2023 Future Challenge in the final week of last year followed by the Beethoven Invitation and National Future Star Junior Cup, both this month.
On the back of that hat-trick of victories, she’s soared almost 300 places in the WAGR in the space of a month, currently at a career-high 467th.