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2021 Taiwan LPGA Tour | Hitachi Ladies Classic 8– 10 Jan Final-Round Recap

Chien Pei-Yun (錢珮芸) completed yet another wire-to-wire victory. After her win at the season-ending Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open last month, she now just opened the new year with a convincing seven-shot victory at the Hitachi Ladies Classic, a NT$10 million TLPGA Tour major.

Her winning total of 14-under 202 was wrapped up by a Sunday 69, making Chien’s all three rounds this week at the Orient Golf & Country Club in the 60s. This win, her sixth at professional level, is worth NT$2.5 million.

Holding a four-shot lead over Babe Liu (劉嬿) before the round, Chien kept up her aggressive style of play, as what she said in the post-round interview yesterday. She took three birdies on the front nine at the cost of just one bogey, better than playing partners Liu and Tsai Pei-Ying (蔡佩穎) which further expanding her advantage.

Tsai and Liu, who switched to some high-risk and high-reward golf after the turn, committed double bogeys on the 10th and 12th respectively, evaporating their last bit of optimism about pulling a turnaround win.

In the meantime, amateur Hou Yu-Sang (侯羽桑) silently used five birdies to step in the solo second place at 209, her best finish ever at the Orient. Babe Liu finished in solo-third at 210.

“It’s always tough for me keep that consistency, and whenever I was feeling some up-and-down in my game, I would easily reason that it was because I hadn’t found the right clubs. So I would start to try new clubs, need time to adjust, lose consistency, and repeat over and over again,” said Chien. “Only until this past year, I kind of threw that excuse away and really started to realize the problem was always in me. I had to trust myself more. I stopped switching gears and focused on just myself.”

In only her second outing on the 2020 LPGA’s Symetra Tour after the lockdown, Chien tallied her second victory on the U.S.-based circuit. “I feel a new confidence in me, like I’ve finally matured into another level as a player,” said Chien. “It’s such a boost financially with these two TLPGA Tour wins, basically covering a big part of the expenses for me to go back and compete in America. But what pleases me and assures myself was the new-found belief that can carry me a long way.”

Hou, finishing with a Sunday 70 and a total score of 7-under 209, won the low-amateur prize. “I was hoping to complete my studies at the University of Arizona and turn pro. But now I might have to have a second thought on that with this pandemic delaying my school projects,” Hou said, who made a significant improvement from last year when she was cut from the tournament after two rounds.

Low-round performance today was achieved by Cheng Ssu-Chia (程思嘉), who carded six birdies—five of them on the front nine—and two bogeys to register a 68, bumping her up into the top-10. “The weather turned nice today. The sun came out, but it was still a bit cold and the wind was like on and off, very distracting at times,” Cheng said. “But I’m happy my short game and putter improved by a big margin from the past two days. Those additional trainings after the rounds paid off. I felt more comfortable today especially on the greens.”

Annual proceeds from this week and an equal bonus from Hitachi, totaling a NT$7.45 million donation has been collected in this 13th edition of the Hitachi Ladies Classic. Ten local charities will be beneficiary of the funding. Despite the cold and wet weather, the attendance for this week reached 8,833.


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