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2020 Taiwan LPGA Tour | Nan Pao TLPGA Heritage Tour 10-11 Jun Final-Round Recap
Date:2020-06-13

16-year-old Wu Chia-Yen (吳佳晏), a former U.S. Women’s Amateur semifinalist, wins in her debut event after turning pro this April at the Nan Pao TLPGA Heritage Tour.

The first-round leader needed three play-off holes to fend off the challenge from Chen Szu-Han (陳思涵), who carded a low-round, 5-under 67 to steal the clubhouse lead before Wu birdied her final hole to force a play-off.

Wu appeared a little nervous from the start, dropping shots on the third and fourth and moving down to 2-under. Although she made it competitive again with three consecutive birdies from no.8 to no.10, a bogey on the twelfth left the situation tricky.

Through 15, as many as four including Chen Szu-Han, Chen-I Wen, Chang Ching-Ling (張靖翎), and Cheng Ssu-Chia (程思嘉) shared the lead at 5-under, while Wu was still one shot back. However, Wu showed a mentality beyond her age that brought the best in her under the most difficult circumstances. She pulled a birdie-par-birdie in her last three holes to level Chen Szu-Han.

Co-leader on Wednesday, Chen I-Wen (陳依妏) raced to 6-under already after 10 but she failed to keep up the pace, ending in a tie for fifth with Wu Yi-Ching (伍以晴) at 4-under.

Returning to the 18th tee, Wu and Chen Szu-Han both gave matching pars and birdies in the first two tries.

For the fourth time playing the hole in one day, Wu maintained her focus to make par. Chen, on the other hand, faced an uphill second putt that ended up just at the edge of the cup and gave the victory to Wu. “The ball was sitting in a new spot. I wasn’t very confident how it would go,” Chen said of her three-putting on the deciding hole.

“I was a bit struggling with consistency all day long. I couldn’t really pick up the intensity I had yesterday,” Wu said. “I wasn’t aware that I made it back to the lead. So, it was a nice surprise. At the end, I was luckier in the play-offs.”

“It means a lot definitely, playing in front of all these talented girls who have been on the tour a lot longer than me. It’s a great start for me as a pro. But I know there is still a long road ahead. I’ll have to keep working hard,” said Wu.

LPGA Tour campaigner Cheng Ssu-Chia made use of brilliant putting to move from 1-under to 5-under, giving herself another top-3 finish on the TLPGA Tour. “I usually start slow but I felt great with this Nan Pao course and especially with the greens after just the first round, so I was playing a lot more comfortable today,” said Cheng.

Tai Chia-Wen (戴嘉汶) eagled the par-4 1st hole, and she carried the momentum throughout the rest of the day to also record a low-round 67. She finished in a tie for twelfth at even par. “I’m happy with the finish. Unfortunately, I played too loose on Day 1. There were two double-bogeys that just made things very difficult for me. But I think I reacted very well today.”

After more than four months of hiatus due to concerns of the COVID-19 situations, the TLPGA Tour returns to action this week. The Nan Pao TLPGA Heritage Tour is a 36-hole pro-junior event where the TLPGA golfers are grouped with young amateurs and junior golfers, as they face their own competitions, to provide them with a platform to closely interact with the experienced professionals. The total purse this week reaches NT$700,000.

A 54-hole TLPGA Tour member test was held concurrently at the Nan Pao Golf Club with five players out of ten participants prevailing. They are Hung Y-L. (洪玉霖), Yang Y-B. (楊亞賓), Ting T-Y. (丁子云), Tu C-T. (涂郡庭), and Liu P-S. (劉芃姍).
 

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