Genevieve Ling moved from Malaysia to Boise to pursue her mission: Play professional golf.
She’s on the right path.
Ling will play this week in the NCAA East Regional, the first Bronco women’s golfer to earn an NCAA invitation in 15 years. She’s the second Bronco to reach the postseason all-time.
Ling drew the invitation because of a school-record stroke average of 74.07 — a 2.53-stroke improvement over her freshman season.
“With her dream of turning professional, she needs to be (at regionals) to make that work,” coach Nicole Bird said. “She needs to play against the top players. She needs to see how she does against them so she knows what she needs to work on for the next two years to be ready.”
Ling plays Thursday-Saturday at Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, N.C. She must finish among the top three golfers not on the six advancing teams to earn a spot in the national tournament.
“When I think about the NCAA, I feel like this is the big game,” Ling said. “Obviously I want to go to the biggest thing, which is nationals.”
Ling started playing golf when she was 12, learning the sport at the same time as her dad. She attended a Canadian school system in Malaysia and has spoken English since she was little.
She contacted Mountain West schools — those were the ones she’d heard of through friends who played golf — and Boise State was one of the first to express interest. She committed before traveling to San Diego for the Junior World tournament three years ago.
Bird met her for the first time there. Ling traveled straight to Boise and confirmed her choice, skipping a combine-like event that likely would have opened her recruitment to other schools.
“It’s definitely been different,” Ling said of Boise, “but it’s something that I wanted when I chose Boise State. I think I’ve learned a lot, not only about golf, but about life.”
Her biggest adjustment is to the food. She doesn’t have access to the ingredients she’d need to cook her favorite foods. “You don’t have the same type of plants,” she said.
Ling goes home for major breaks. She’ll return this summer and represent Malaysia in the Southeast Asia Games in June.
She struggled in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament but has emerged as a building block in Bird’s improving program.
“I just feel like I kind of peaked (this year),” Ling said. “Every part of my game. That showed in my scoring average.”