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2016 Taiwan LPGA Tour Hong Kong Ladies Open Final-Round Recap
Date:2016-06-12

21-year-old Hong Kong amateur Tiffany Chan defeated Thai teen Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul on the first play-off hole Sunday at the Hong Kong Ladies Open to win her second TLPGA Tour title.

Chan made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole and moved to 5-under, arousing the keen local followers, before playing partner Muangkhumsakul made an easy par putt to extend the competition into play-off.

The pair returned to the par-4, 18th when Muangkhumsakul blew her tee shot to the right out of bounds as Chan found hers safely on the fairway. Muangkhumsakul used four shots to finally hit the green only to see Chan shut the window with a calm par finish. She walked off with a double-bogey.

This gave Chan her second TLPGA Tour victory as an amateur, having emerged the champion last August at the 2015 TLPGA Future Open presented by High Tech Charity.

Taking the top pro prize worth US$22,500 on the presentation ceremony, Muangkhumsakul, however, was seen watery afterwards on the hotel shuttle bus after letting a third TLPGA Tour win slip.

The final round play was suspended at 11:45 in the morning due to thunderstorms and was resumed at 1:00. It was already 6:00 late in the afternoon when Chan and Muangkhumsakul handed in their scorecards. The two arrived on Sunday both in the second to last group.

Taiwanese Chen Tzu-Han (陳子涵) shot a final-round 69, climbing up to equal third place along with China’s Pan Yanhong (潘艷紅), who also shot 69, at a total 4-under 212. The 69 was Chen’s lowest score in a single round, contributing to a low career 54-hole total and her best finish in a professional event.

Chen made an early charge on Sunday morning, going 3-under through nine. She missed a couple of eagle chances on the par-5 11th and 17th but secured birdies on both holes as well as on the par-3 12th. However, a lost tee shot, which resulted in a double-bogey on the 10th, proved costly as she stood at 4-under after all 54 holes, missing the play-off opportunity by one stroke.

Taiwan’s Pan Yen-Ling (潘彥伶), sole leader in the first two rounds, carded back-to-back 76s to fall into a three-way tie for thirteenth with Japan LPGA member Wei Yun-Jye (魏筠潔) and China’s Zhang Weiwei (張維維) at 1-under 215.

“There was a surprisingly big crowd coming to watch us. I didn’t control my nerves as well as I hoped,” said Pan. “I mean, what a start with three consecutive bogeys! I tried to find my focus back and hit some pretty good irons but they were offset by a few missed putts. The double-bogey on the 18th was a final letdown.”

At just one shot back overnight, Taiwanese pro rookie Wu Yi-Ching (伍以晴) shot a 37-37 Sunday 74, finishing in a tie for ninth at 2-under par 214. “I was so nervous at the beginning,” said Wu, who played in the leading group for the first time in a final round. “I made a few too many mistakes. I was kind of freeing up only after the turn but the short game was just not good enough.”

The co-sanctioned event by the TLPGA Tour and LAGT (Ladies Asian Golf Tour) offers a prize fund of US$150,000, which is 25% higher than the previous year. The top prize is US$22,500 and the runner-up can earn US$15,000.

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