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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | CTBC Ladies Open 30 Aug – 1 Sep Final-Round Recap
Date:2018-09-01

Overcoming a five-shot deficit, Thailand’s Chonlada Chayanun came back to snatch her first TLPGA Tour title on Sunday at the CTBC Ladies Open. This is Chayanun’s second professional victory after winning the Hengqin Phoenix Tree Building Orient Golf Challenge on the China LPGA Tour in March. The win is worth NT$1 million.

Chayanun closed with two birdies and finished with a 4-under 68 to bring her 54-hole winning total to 7-under 209. She admitted that she came back to the clubhouse with a mindset that it would probably need a play-off to decide the winner, but in the end, the early leaders were unable to make a final push and saw the Thai complete the impressive turn-around.

36-hole leader Hana Wakimoto shot a final-round 73. 17-year-old Taiwanese amateur Hou Yu-Chiang (侯羽薔) carded 72. The two finished in a tie for second at 210.

Taiwanese no.1 Teresa Lu (盧曉晴) and Chinese teenager Sui Xiang (隋响) both drop a shot on the final day to fall into equal fourth at 5-under-par 211.

Chayanun started the round four strokes off the lead and was seemingly falling out of contention spreading errors and dropping shots on 3rd and 7th. But an almost miraculous save on the 8th where she drained a 36-foot birdie putt proved to be a huge momentum builder that the 25-year-old went on to muster six more birdies, two of them on the last couple of holes, before she turned in the scorecard.

And those two final birdies, from 9 feet and 15 feet respectively following a 16th-hole bogey, turned out to be the winning difference. She needed 29 putts.

The Ohio State University graduate turned pro three years ago and started her campaign on the TLPGA Tour since 2016. She also regularly competes in tournaments in hometown Thailand, China, and the Philippines.

CTBC Bank star Teresa Lu didn’t create many scoring chances as she hoped, blaming her “poor” distance control of the irons and wedges. “I was actually driving pretty well but couldn’t quite find the right club to hit with on my second shots, so there really wasn’t much I could do on the greens,” said Lu, who used 32 putts on Sunday. Lu’s push for a final chase was evident; however, her attacking but risky shot selection didn’t gain her any advantage but, instead, leading to an 18-hole bogey where her second shot flew past the green.

It wasn’t the Sunday Wakimoto was looking for after holding the 36-hole lead at the Tong Hwa Golf Club. She gained just one birdie and made two bogeys. “The short game was just not there for me today,” Wakimoto said. She needed 30 putts.

Hou Yu-Chiang also had a bad putting day, needing 32 strokes on the greens. “I thought I missed a couple of short 5-footers, and then there were also some longer ones bouncing out from the cup. It surely could have been better, but I really tried to stay positive all the way through and I feel proud of myself,” said Hou.

At one point on top of the leaderboard, Sui carded an even-par 72 in the final round to drop into equal fourth. The Chinese youngster also had her putter to blame, spending six more shots on the greens than yesterday and concluding with 33 putts.

Another Chinese teen star, CTBC Bank player Yuting (石昱婷) finished with a Sunday 73 which brought her final total to 2-under 214, which puts her in the solo seventh place.

Hou received the low amateur honor; the second-best-finishing amateur in the field in Chen Hsuan (陳萱), who used a 70 to climb up into solo sixth on the leaderboard.

The 2018 CTBC Ladies Open is the first TLPGA tournament to be counted into the qualification, which runs from 8th of July this year, for golf at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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