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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | Party Golfers Ladies Open Final-Round Recap

Wu Chia-Yen (吳佳晏), 14, has won her biggest title of her career at the 2018 Party Golfers Ladies Open.

The overnight leader carded a 1-under 71 at the National Garden Golf and Country Club on Friday, using a final total of 7-under 209 to beat compatriot Babe Liu (劉依貞) by one stroke. The 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship semifinalist is now the youngest player ever to clinch a TLPGA Tour victory.

This tournament is co-sanctioned by the TLPGA Tour and the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour (LPGT).

The win marks a third event in this season that is won by an amateur. 17-year-old Hou Yu-Chiang (侯羽薔) was crowned at the TLPGA Ladies Open – Nan Pao in May. Just this past week, the Tour witnessed another teen talent rising as 16-year-old Lu Hsin-Yu (盧昕妤) triumphed at the KENDA Tire TLPGA Open.

Wu, who started the day holding a comfortable five-shot lead, opened the day with a birdie on the first hole; however, she lost her touch on the greens, going too short on the chances, and by the time Wu moved forward again with two consecutive birdies on the twelfth and thirteenth hole, Babe Liu had narrowed the gap to just three strokes.

”I told myself that I really needed to stay patient. I was still holding a pretty good lead to that point. I definitely didn’t want to go into the play-off” said Wu, who dropped a shot on the 15th and saw Liu near with a birdie on the 16th. But in the end, one shot was as close as Liu could get.

Mainly self-schooled, Wu spent most of her time on the Hsin Chu course since she was five. She was a trainee in the Swinging Skirts’ player development program for four years. “I would like to thank my dear coaches in the Swinging Skirts camp. They have given me so much not just about the skills but some golf science and how to manage different situations. These definitely helped me to become a better player.”

Chief executive of the Swinging Skirts Golf Foundation Ms. Chiu praised Wu for her maturity beyond age, “she has a never-say-never spirit in her. She might be smaller in statue and less powerful than others, but she can swing her wood clubs as if they are irons. There is so much precision in her shots which is so impressive.”

With this victory, Wu has earned a wildcard into the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, which is set to kick off later this month.

Japan LPGA Tour member Babe Liu concluded this week with a flawless final-round in which she racked up eight birdies to match her best career round. “There isn’t as much wind today, and we got to take our preferred lies, I felt very comfortable all day.” Thailand’s Saranporn Langkulgasettrin also had a fine Friday, posting a bogey-free 6-under 66 to finish at 5-under 211 and solo third.

In the tie for fourth were Taiwan’s Chen Szu-Han (陳思涵) and Thai player Renuka Suksukont on a score of 4-under 212. Chen picked up six birdies throughout with three bogeys. “The course was in great shape. I was hitting with a lot of confidence especially with my irons,” said Chen. “I had a couple of three-putts shortly after the turn, but I think I was doing pretty well overall. This is the best result I’ve had here in my three attempts.”

With six birdies and just one bogey, Taiwanese amateur Hou Yu-Chiang surged from a share of 22nd place to solo 6th at 2-under 214. “I had a very aggressive mindset from the get go because the conditions were so good,” said Hou. “There are lots of things I can still work on, but I’m proud of how I finished this week.”

The Party Golfers Ladies Open was first held in 2014 but had a one-year break in 2017 when members of the Party Golfers were occupied as a supporting role in the qualification event of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship that year. However, with Party Golfers’ Chief Executive Ms. Lin L.C. endeavoring to extend their vision and continue to prosper the women’s golf community, the event is now brought back on the TLPGA Tour, in an even higher status than ever with the LPGT joining forces to co-stage and bring in five of its best players from the Philippines.

Title sponsor, the 2002-incepted Party Golfers, is an amateur golf team comprised of local entrepreneurs, who share a strong passion for the golf sport as they lent their support and pushed the happening of the first Party Golfers Open in 2014. They are proud of their golf aesthetics with a unique team identity and catching team chants which help to boost their confidence on the course. The Party Golfers were not just active in local golfing events, but much engaging in charitable causes and pursuits.


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