Singapore: Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Korean Wang Jeung-hun were the toast of Asian golf after scoring notable successes on two of the world’s most high-profile professional Tours.
While Ariya triumphed in the LPGA Tour’s Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, Wang weighed in with victory in the European Tour’s Hassan II Trophy in Morocco.
Ariya, who has had several close brushes with winning in recent years, is the first Thai to win on the LPGA Tour.
Meanwhile, Wang became the 10th South Korean and 24th Asian to win on the European Tour.
Aged 20 years and 256 days, he is the youngest winner on the European Tour this season and the second youngest Asian winner in European Tour history, behind Noh Seung-yul, who was 18 years and 282 days when he won the 2010 Maybank Malaysian Open.
Ariya held a three-stroke lead entering the final round of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic but had to fight off nerves to become a Rolex First-Time Winner.
She had an up and down final round, carding four bogeys and four birdies to finish the day even-par and one stroke ahead of Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis and Amy Yang.
“It was so tough. For the final three holes I couldn’t control anything,” said Ariya. “My legs were shaking, my hands were shaking.”
“I’m really happy. I’m pretty sure a lot players from Thailand are going to win soon and second and third is going to be coming and coming.”
The 20-year-old Wang, runner-up at the recent Hero Indian Open, dramatically forced extra holes in Morocco with the first of a hat-trick of impressive putts on 18 for a closing 70 before holding firm in the play-off.
“I don’t remember how I putted on the last three holes,” said Wang. “I just tried to make birdie – I didn’t think about anything, I just putted. It’s so exciting right now.”
Wang is the second Korean winner in three weeks after Lee Soo-min claimed the Shenzhen International. Wang added: “He’s a good friend of mine and I’m so happy that he won. I win also so it’s great.”