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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | TLPGA Ladies Open - Nan Pao Final-Round Recap
Date:2018-05-25

17-year-old Hou Yu-Chiang (侯羽薔) claimed her first victory in a pro event by firing a final-round 4-under 68 at the TLPGA Ladies Open – Nan Pao.

Her final total of 5-under 211 is just one shot better than Chen Min-Jou (陳敏柔). Chen also carded a Friday 68 but failed to sink a birdie putt on the 18th, which proved to be crucial as Hou, tied with Chen through 17, collected the winning birdie on the last hole in the following group.

Having been recruited as a member on the Chinese Taipei Golf Team for the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, which takes place in August, Hou took a lot of positives out of the breakthrough week with an improved short game, but remained humble and said she should still be working hard on her driver if the goal is to get gold in Jakarta this summer.

The Taiwanese amateur started playing golf at age eight and has been making steep progress in the last two years. She was crowned in 2016 at the Victorian Junior Masters in Australia, and also became the individual champion between 2016 and 2017 at Taiwan’s nation-wide high school championships. Her best finish on the TLPGA Tour prior to this week has been a T4 at the CTBC Ladies Open in 2017. She held one low-amateur record at the 2016 TLPGA & Royal Open.

It was double joy this week as Hou’s sister, Yu-Sang (侯羽桑) helped the University of Arizona to win the team championship of the NCAA golf event on Thursday.

Hou’s winning putt was 15 feet long, downhill, set up by a 50-degree wedge from 92 yards. Her putting was solid throughout the day, if not spectacular; she needed just 23 putts, 7 better than yesterday. The two bogeys today were caused by mis-fired tee shots, which went into the water hazard on the 14th and right roughs on the par-5 9th.

Chen Min-Jou picked up the same number of birdies as Hou, but made an unlucky double-bogey after taking a water penalty on the par-3 third, which, looking back, set her back from a potential winning position.

“It’s not a bad week still. My second shots were great. The ball sat nicely with many attacking chances. I set a bar for myself for a 70 and the outcome is even better,” said the indigenous second-year pro. “It was a shame that my concentration level dropped a little in the finishing holes, but I think it was a great round and of course a great week to be the first runner-up.” Chen took away the top prize worth NT$540,000 for Hou’s amateur status.

Lee Hsin (李欣), the 36-hole leader at Fanling Hong Kong Golf Club two weeks ago, and last week as well at Taipei Golf Course, played in the final group with only one shot off the lead and still trailed by just one coming onto the 17th tee. However, a missed 6-footer for par on 17th basically tarnished the winning hopes. She finished two back at 213 as the solo third.

“I felt like it’s already a great improvement from the last two weeks although again I didn’t win,” said Lee. “The good thing is I consistently produce these good results. I have to stay patient and hopefully the moment will come.”

Overnight leader Lee Tai-Ling (李黛翎) shot a 7-over 79 to fall into a tie for 14th with Chen Cih-Hui (陳慈惠), who was in equal second, with final total of 4-over 220s.

Set at 6,211 yards long for this week’s tournament, the Nan Pao Golf Course is located in Danei Dist., Tainan City. Built with investment from Nan Pao Resins Group, the 27-hole course consisting of A, B, C sections is perfectly blended in nature and surrounded by a stream which is nicely offset by groves of big-leafed mahogany, camphor and hoop pine trees.

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