Wuhan, China: Seventeen-year-old Saranporn Langkulgasettrin underlined her billing as the next Thai female golfing star with a four-stroke victory at the Orient Masters Wuhan Challenge.
It was the 10th professional title of the Phuket native’s fledgeling career. Now her sights are set on the LPGA Tour.
Saranporn closed with a four-under 68 for a three-day total of 13-under 203. Not only did her score better the tournament record by five strokes but also it was the first time a player has shot three rounds in the 60s to win the event.
Saranporn’s first China LPGA Tour victory was worth RMB75,000 (about US$10,000).
“It was amazing today,” said the teenager. “At first I thought I am going to lose control because Lee Solar (74) hit it good on the first few holes. But I got back to my game. Today I’ve got it.”
China’s Ye Liying carded a 67, the low round of the day, to finish runner-up, two strokes ahead of Thai Kanyalak Preedasuttijit (69). Fellow Thai Parinda Phokan (70) and Korean Lee Solar were equal fourth, seven shots back. First-round leader Munchin Keh (73) of New Zealand ended sixth.
Saranporn, who has eight wins on the domestic Thailand Tour and another in the Philippines, said her goal now was to prepare for this year’s US LPGA Tour Qualifying School.
A day ahead of Father’s Day, she praised her father for his guidance and said her prize money would go to him. “I’m just going to say: ‘Hey, thank you for helping me as always’. He’s always helping me in everything. He’s my friend, my dad, my coach, my manager, sometime also my brother,” she said with a laugh.