PETALING JAYA: It will be a season that will be vividly remembered for young Malaysian golfer Natasha Andrea Oon (pic) in the United States.
The 17-year-old capped her freshman year (first year) at San Jose State University in grand fashion by being named in the second team for the Women’s Golf Coaches’ Association (WCGA) Division 1 All-America honoree for the 2018-19 season on Thursday.
An All-America team is a hypothetical American sports team composed of outstanding amateur players in a particular sport.
Lim Siew Ai is the other Malaysian women’s golfer known to have received the recognition under the Division 1 category.
Siew Ai, an alumni of University of South Carolina, earned her place in the first team of the 1994-1995 season.
An elated Natasha said she did not expect to achieve it so soon.
“I’m so pleased!” said Natasha when contacted yesterday.
“Getting into (one of the two) All-American teams means I’m a top-25 collegiate golfer in the country (United States).
“It’s been one of my goals when I joined San Jose State University. I just didn’t think it would happen in my freshman year.”
Natasha made quite an impact in her first year in the US collegiate golf scene, claiming nine top-10 finishes including her two victories at the Minnesota Invitational and the Gold Rush. She was also runner-up on three occasions.
But Natasha’s arguably best result of the season came just earlier this week when she secured a top-10 finish in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 Women’s Golf Championship on Monday.
The NCAA national championship is the biggest event in the US collegiate golf calendar.
Natasha credited the Minnesota Invitational triumph, which she secured on her very first appearance last September, as the catalyst that set her up for a very fruitful season.
“I must say winning my first title (Minnesota Invitational) was the biggest moment of the season,” said Natasha.
“It definitely proved that I have what it takes to be successful in the US (collegiate golf). It’s been a good start and I hope to take it to greater heights next season.”