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2017 Taiwan LPGA Tour | Kaohsiung Entrepreneur Association Ladies Open 29 Nov – 1 Dec Final-Round Re
Date:2017-12-02

Taiwan’s Tsai Pei Ying (蔡佩穎) fired a bogey-free 7-under 65 to complete a come-from-behind win at the Kaohsiung Entrepreneur Association Ladies Open in her home town Pingtong and pocketed the NT$540,000 first prize. Tsai’s 13-under 203 was four shots better than a group of four players chasing her. Thai Saranporn Langkulgasettrin (69), Wanchana Poruangrong (68), Taiwanese Chen Yu Ju (陳宇茹) (71), and Huang Ching (黃靖) (70) finished at 9-under 207, each took home NT$171,000.

Amateur Chang Ching Ling (張靖翎) cruised through the Pro Test which was held concurrently at the Sunwood Lake Golf Club with her 8-under 208 – capped off with a final-round 70. She finished in a tie for sixth with Thai pair Chonlada Chayanun and first-round leader Ploychompoo Wilairungrueng. Tai Chia Wen (戴嘉汶) joined Chang as the qualifier through Pro Test, officially becoming one of the two additions this week to the TLPGA pro field.

The top amateur honor was claimed by Hong Kong’s Michelle Chueng, who finished by the score of a 70-71-70, 5-under 211 which put her in a tie for eleventh on the final leaderboard.

The triumph on Friday marks Tsai Pei Ying’s third career victory, all won on the Taiwan Tour. The fifth-year Japan LPGA Tour member gave heartfelt thanks to sponsors Taishin Bank, a Japanese firm who has long been supporting her, and two respectable golf “Sensei” -- Shimabukuro and Kouno.

“I really wanted to win here, since this is actually a course I grew up playing on,” said Tsai. “I felt I was on a mission. It just means a lot to win in my hometown.”

On Friday, Tsai picked up two strokes to make it just one behind leader Chen Yu Ju at the turn after dropping a 20-footer to make birdie on the ninth, which helped gain the momentum she just needed in time. She added up to her birdie count on 11th, 12th, 14th, and 15th. On the par-5 17th, she earned a final birdie of the run by a chip-and-putt, roaring across the finish line with the brilliant 34-31 performance.

“I just kept on pushing, and pushing. I really wanted to win, so I just never let up until I made the last putt. Glad the level of my short game raised. I was a little worried about my irons on the front nine,” Tsai recalled.

Tsai just concluded her 2017 JLPGA season in the top 40 on the Money List. Pumped with the win today, Tsai feels determined to defend her title at the CTBC Ladies Open to be held a couple of weeks later, and she hopes to finally lift a trophy in her sixth year on the JLPGA Tour. She also encouraged fellow Taiwanese players to take a venture out on the international tours, with pride, “we’re more capable than we think.”

An emotional run came to an end for Chen Yu Ju as she missed her third chance to win this season to finish as the first runner-up. “My iron play was a little off. I also left a few birdies out there on the greens,” said Chen. “I would keep trying and keep my head up. It’s another good week after all.”

The event went under the “preferred lies” rule because of weather conditions.

The Kaohsiung Entrepreneur Association Ladies Open celebrates a couple of firsts – the Sunwood Lake Golf Course plays host to the pro golfers on the TLPGA Tour for the first time in the 10-year club history; meanwhile, this marks the first TLPGA event title-sponsored by the Kaohsiung Entrepreneur Association.

“Thanks to all the staff who have pulled off the mission to make this course back to the best playing condition over the past month,” said Ho, General Manager of the Sunwood Lake Golf Couse. “It’s been an honor to join the ride with the TLPGA as we put the name of Sunwood Lake up on the map to global golf fans.”
 

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