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2022 Taiwan LPGA Tour | GRIN Cup Charity Open 28 – 30 Jul Final-Round Recap

Kiwi-Taiwanese Juliana Hung (洪玉霖) pulled a stunning comeback win on Saturday at the GRIN Cup Charity Open. This is Hung’s third TLPGA Tour victory after title runs at KENDA Tires TLPGA Open and SAMPO Ladies Open last season.

Hung started the day six behind 36-hole leader Phoebe Yao (姚宣榆), who led at 1-under and still was five-shot clear at the turn after nine straight pars. However, loosely giving three shots away in just four holes between 10th and 13th, Yao found herself in a dangerous place.

Hung did not blink to sneak in the door Yao opened for her. She holed two important birdie putts on the 14th and 15th to level Yao at 2-over, while the 2020 runner-up started to look even more out of sorts in front of an eager Hung.

Yao missed another par putt on the 16th to go one off, the first time this week she was ever behind. Her last effort on the 18th turned out to be a worse nightmare. She drove the ball into the right woods, and then hit a tree from a hopeless position, needing four shots to finally reach the green on the par-4.

Meanwhile, Hung took full advantage of Yao’s struggle, consistently making pars in the last three holes to preserve her hard-earned lead, before Yao eventually wrapped it all up with a double-bogey to settle for another runner-up finish at 5-over par.

“Anything can happen on a golf course! So, I tried not to think about winning until the last putt dropped,” said Hung, who was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and moved to New Zealand and started to pursue a golf career at 9 years of age. She is now in her senior year at the Massey University studying Japanese literature.

Now in her fourth year as a pro, Hung said she feels improvement in herself every season, golf wise and more importantly, mental wise. “After getting my first and second victory last year, I felt I finally overcame the nervousness I always had during my pro venture,” Hung shared. “I’ve been working on some tiny adjustments in my putting, trying with less wrist and a more stable stance. And I’m glad it did help me to be more confident on the greens and that I putted better and better with each round this week.” Hung needed just 27 putts today, an improvement from the 32 and 29 in the previous rounds.

“I felt like without that luck on the first hole when I made an amazing save from 28 yards, I wouldn’t have pulled this performance today. I went on to birdie the second hole and it gave me that far hope of pulling the victory, and surprisingly I actually made it in the end, and by some margin,” Hung reflected on the incredible day of drama. “Happy that my father came to see me. The support means a lot to me and makes me feel stronger.”

This final-round performance of 69 was not just the low-round of the day but the lowest all week, which won Hung a winner’s check worth NT$600,000 as well as a low-round bonus of NT$20,000 provided by title-sponsor GRIN, one of the leading membrane material manufacturers in Taiwan.

Pro debutant Chang Ya-Chun (張雅淳), starting the round three shots off the pace, pressurized Yao early in the day with a trio of birdies from Hole 5 to 7. However, having just recently recovered from coronavirus infection, Chang appeared out of gas at the closing stage, finishing with an identical 6-over 78 with Yao and dropping into a tie for fourth with 2021 TLPGA Tour Money Winner Wu Chia-Yen (吳佳晏).

Liang Yi-Ling (梁宜羚) carded a 2-over 74 to finish in solo third at 7-over par. Chang Mei-Chu (張美珠) also turned in a 74 to capture the title in the 18-hole Senior Group event which was held concurrently at the Taiwan Golf Club.

Hsieh Chia-Yu (謝佳彧) shot a final-round 77 to edge Cheng His-Ruei (鄭熙叡), who carded 80, and won the low amateur honor. Their final total of 230 and 232 placed them in equal 15th and 19th on the overall leaderboard respectively.

Hsieh, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Washington, currently competes at NCAA level. Her short-term goal is to win an NCAA tournament.

A NT$1,515,000 donation was raised at the Taiwan Golf Club during the tournament, which will be used to endow three local organizations.



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