Zhangjiagang Island: Ploychompoo Wirairungrueng claimed her maiden victory in dramatic style at the inaugural RMB500,000 Zhangjiagang Shuanshan Challenge.
The 21-year-old birdied the final hole to pip fellow-Thai Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul and China’s Pan Yanhong by one stroke in the China LPGA Tour event in Jiangsu Province.
Thanks to her successful six-footer on the final green, Ploychompoo posted a closing one-under 71 at the Shuangshan Golf Course. That gave her a three-day total of seven-under 209 to secure the first place cheque for RMB75,000.
China’s Zhang Jienalin ended equal fourth on 213 with Hong Kong amateur Tiffany Chan.
“I feel so happy to win. It’s the first win of my career and it means a lot to me,” said the fourth-year pro who first picked up a club at the age of 10 after being introduced to the game by her father.
“I wanted to make the final birdie putt so much. I didn’t expect to win because Kanphanitnan is the top player in Thailand and she did very well today as well.”
In search of her third victory of the year, 17-year-old Kanphanitnan teared up while signing her scorecard after three-putting from 25 feet on the last hole.
“I feel very sad about the last three-putt. I lost the chance to win a tournament again. It’s the second time already,” said the teenager, a winner of 10 tournaments since turning pro as a 14-year-old. “I’m sad, but it’s still an experience for me.”