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2019 Taiwan LPGA Tour | CTBC Ladies Classic Final-Round Recap
Date:2019-03-30

18-year-old Liu Yiyi (劉依一) secured the championship on home turf after signing for a third straight 69 in the final round of the CTBC Ladies Classic. Her final score on 9-under is three strokes better than defending champion, Taiwan’s Chen Yu-Ju (陳宇茹) and Korean Na Hee Won.

This marks Liu’s first pro victory in her young career as the Shanxi native pocketed RMB120,000 for the win.

Chen shot 72 on the final Saturday, and Na turned in a 71. The duo finished on 6-under and each won RMB60,000.

Peng Chieh (彭婕) notched a second top-10 finish in a row after carding a final-round 71 to sit in equal fourth place with Chinese teenager Du Mohan (杜墨含), who returned with an even-par 72. TLPGA Tour no.2 Babe Liu (劉嬿) also wrapped up the week with a 72, making her 54-hole total on 2-under 214 which put her in a four-way tie for 7th.

Home girl Yin Ruoning (殷若寧) finished as the top amateur. Her final score of 71-72-72 215 places her in equal 11th on the leaderboard with Thai player Chonlada Chayayun. 15-year-old Wu Chia-Yen (吳佳晏) from Taiwan is the second best amateur this week as she sits in equal 13th place after a Saturday 75.

Liu started the day one shot behind Chen at 6-under and parred her way through the unfinished three holes from the second round due to rain delay yesterday.

However, at the same time, Chen slipped with a bogey on the 36th hole of this week, which brought the two back at the same starting line when the final round commenced after one hour of rest. Liu found herself quickly in the outright lead as she birdied the no.4 hole of the final round while Chen dropped down with two bogeys already.

The Chinese made another trio of birdies from no.6 to no.13 in what looked like an easy cruise in the park despite the pressure-packed final-round atmosphere.

Liu carried the three-shot cushion she built at the turn over to the end and turned in a 34-35 69, her third straight one this week.

“I set up some great chances on the greens with great iron play and my putting remained at a high level, didn’t miss much,” said the Chinese teen. “I’m really happy to see myself actually rise to the occasion and perform under what could have been a very stressful day. I actually felt peaceful, instead.”

With early mistakes on the 2nd and 4th hole, Chen couldn’t really build a real momentum to challenge Liu and only was able to move forward on the later part of the day. She concluded the week with a nicely-curved 7-footer on the 18th green that earned her the third birdie of the day, keeping her safe for a runner-up finish.

“Of course, it wasn’t the best ending but runner-up is good. I’m positive to this outcome considering how bad I played last week,” said the defending champion. “I wasn’t exactly confident about my iron game at the moment. The ball just comes off not the way I want it. It’s something to do with my swinging motion; I knew there is something not quite right, but I could only just play and try to adjust as the competition went on. Now that it’s over this week, I already booked a date with my swing coach in Korea soon after this to prepare for a tournament in Korea next week.”

Chen’s new-season goal is a top-20 finish on the second-tier circuit in Korea and a main KLPGA Tour playing card for 2020.

Player were allowed to take their “preferred lies” in the final round in spite of warm and sunny conditions at the Dragon Lake Golf Club.

The TLPGA and CLPGA co-sanctioned event is organized by the CLPGA and title-sponsored by the Taiwan-based CTBC Bank. It was first held in 2015 and now goes into its third staging.

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