Sime Darby Foundation to Sponsor Jean Chua for Three Years; Includes Invitation to 2011 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, June 9, 2011 – Sime Darby Group and event organiser IMG have confirmed that Jean Chua and Kelly Tan have been granted sponsor’s exemptions for the 2011 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. The duo, the nation’s leading female professional and amateur golfers respectively, will join dozens of the world’s best players at the second edition of the championship at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) from 13 – 16 October 2011.
The confirmation of Chua’s invitation came at today’s announcement that the 24-year-old will be sponsored by Sime Darby Foundation for the next three years to the value of RM180,000 (approx. USD60,000). As part of the foundation’s commitment to youth and sports in Malaysia, Chua will receive assistance in the form of sponsorship for world class coaching and tournament entry fees in the United States.

The agreement has already paid dividends, with Chua qualifying for the US Women’s Open in mid-May. She tied first place to win the qualifier, successfully advancing to her first Major, which will be played in Colorado Springs from July 7-10 – a breakthrough moment for her career.

A national squad member from 2003 until 2009, Chua received an athletic scholarship to the prestigious Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Upon graduating, she turned professional in August, 2009, and won her first pro event at the Thailand LPGA Open Championship. She finished and tied 53rd at the 2010 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

However, the support from Sime Darby Foundation has the potential to take her game to the highest levels. Highly regarded international coach Ian Triggs will spend six weeks a year travelling and working with Chua, with the goal of realising her full golfing potential on the world stage.

“I cannot thank Sime Darby Foundation enough. The Foundation gave me the opportunity to play in front a huge audience at home during last year’s LPGA event and now, to support me for the next three years is something I could not have imagined,” said a jubilant Chua.

“Being able to work with Ian (Triggs) for extended periods across the season will definitely help my game, as will the support on entry fees and the chance to compete in LPGA Qualifying School in 2011,” she added.

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. M Jegathesan, Sime Darby Foundation Governing Council Member said, “Jean is an outstanding representative for Malaysia at the global stage and serves as an inspiration for all young people in this country. She has successfully combined sport with her studies at university and now her dedication to her professional career serves as a model pathway for all Malaysians.”

“With this support, we wish Jean the very best of luck and I have no doubt her career will continue to blossom in the coming years as she becomes a leader in Malaysian sport,” he added.

It was also confirmed today that rising star Kelly Tan, who finished as the leading amateur player in a commendable placing of 32nd at the 2010 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, has also received an invitation to this year’s event. Her achievement equalled Michelle Wie’s finish at the same event. The 17-year-old’s invitation comes on the back of the announcement in January 2011 that she was the second sportsperson to receive the Sime Darby Foundation Star Scholarship award, after local cycling sensation, Mohd Azizulhasni Awang. The scholarship allowed the teen to pursue a six-month accredited college preparatory course and full-time golf programme at the world’s most prestigious golf institution, Pendleton School at IMG Academies, in Florida from January to June, 2011.

The 2010 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia itself was the pinnacle of a commitment by the Sime Darby Group throughout the year to use the tournament as a platform for a variety of innovative campaigns. They included the Sime Darby LPGA Junior Development Programme, which offered leading young female golfers the chance to improve their game, and two qualifying tournaments that provided rising stars the chance to earn their way into the event.

In addition, charitable initiatives were the centrepiece of activities, with star players Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis and Cristie Kerr visiting the Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya to learn more about the Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF), the tournament’s selected charity. Last year, through various fundraising activities, the tournament raised RM435,993 for CARIF. Further activities, such as ‘Pink Day’, which was held on the tournament Saturday, raised awareness for breast cancer as part of Sime Darby’s commitment to giving back to the community.

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Last Updated:
04 Dec 2018
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