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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour CTBC Ladies Classic Final-Round Recap
Date:2018-03-31

Overnight leader Chen Yu-Ju (陳宇茹) came unchallenged on the final day at the RMB800,000 CTBC Ladies Classic, a co-sanctioned tournament by the Taiwan LPGA Tour and the LPGA Tour of China, to claim her first professional title.

Starting on Saturday morning with a three-shot advantage, Chen displayed cool temperament throughout the final round to close with a 1-under 71. The win is worth RMB120,000 plus a sponsor gift—a pair of Bang & Olufsen wireless Bluetooth earphones. The trophy was presented by CTBC Bank president Chen Huo-Shih.

Chen’s winning total of 8-under 208 was four strokes better than Thai duo Supamas Sangchan (69) and Parinda Phokan (72). The runners-up each pocketed RMB60,000.

The low amateur honor goes to another Taiwanese Chen Hsuan (陳萱), who wrapped up in a tie for fourth at 3-under par 213 with China’s Zhang Jienalin (張婕娜琳) and Thailand native Pavarisa Yoktuan. This marks Chen’s best career finish so far, which could have been even better if not for the only bogey of the day on her 54th hole after a three-putt; she needed 29 putts on Saturday. Chen will now set her sight mainly on a pair of play-off events for an opportunity to represent Taiwan at the 2018 Asian Games.

There are a logjam of seven players ending up in a tie for seventh at 1-under par 215 which includes Chen Szu-Han (陳思涵) (72) and CTBC Bank ambassador, 2016 CLPGA Tour money winner Shi Yuting (石昱婷) (70). Another CTBC Bank player Hsieh Yu-Ling (謝瑀玲) came back from the blink of defeat after a first-round 79, coming up with a Friday 69 and a 70 today to finish in equal 18th place at 218.

Although having won a 36-hole TLPGA “Heritage Tour” event last June, Chen Yu-Ju has never picked up any title in an official 54 or 72-hole tournament since she turned pro in 2014, despite having as many as seven runner-up finishes and four of them all came in the 2017 season which also pushed her onto no.2 on the year-end official money list.

“I’ve come so close so many times last year but I just couldn’t do it,” said Chen. “But I know I’m getting closer and closer. I’ll just need to keep up a positive mindset. Really proud of myself this week that I finally won.”

“I would like to dedicate this win to my parents and all the families, my main sponsor Fubon Financial, CRC healthcare, my management team GA Golf, coaches, and Swinging Skirts Golf Team who’s been supporting me since I was an amateur. Also, my big thanks to the CTBC Bank for organizing such a great event,” said Chen. “They have all been super supportive, helped me a great deal in becoming a better player each day physically, mentally and technically. It just urges me to keep working hard, seeing them giving me so much that I cannot let them down.”

The 20-year-old had a virtual record of eight birdies in a row when she opened the final-round with a birdie, having drained seven consecutive birdie putts from 12th to 18th yesterday. However, after making two birdies and one bogey to make the turn with a secure lead, meanwhile realizing she couldn’t quite produce the peak standard she set on Day 2, Chen decided to go safe and ultimately parred her way through to the finish line.

“I wasn’t nervous at all. I kind of tried to just stay in the moment and let my game naturally lead me. Because I knew I had the skills in the bag, as well as the experience playing in the leading group,” said Chen, who came only one shot short of victory most recently at the TLPGA & Royal Open last September. She was doused in water by fellow golfers and good friends upon her winning putt.

Chen plans to fit four tournaments starting in April on the step-up tour of the LPGA of Korea and receive coaching of a new local coach. She’s already met one of the goals she set for herself that is to gain one CLPGA Tour win; now she hopes she can fulfil the rest by winning three additional titles on the TLPGA Tour this year.

The 2018 CTBC Bank Classic is organized by the Chinese Golf Association and co-organized by the Guangdong Province Golf Association.

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