Santa Rosa City, Philippines: Renuka Suksukont captured her first international title with a wire-to-wire victory at the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters.
The 22-year-old Thai closed with an even-par 72. Her five-under 211 total gave her a two-stroke win in the US$80,000 event, co-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, Ladies Philippine Golf Tour and LPGA of Taiwan.
“Finally, I got a championship outside of Thailand and my first China LPGA win,” said Renuka, who took the first prize cheque for US$15,000. “It’s amazing! I am very happy.”
Ploychompoo Wirairungrueng (67) and Chonlada Chayanun (70) made it a Thai sweep of the top-three when finishing equal runner-up. Korean amateur Hwang Min-jeong was fourth on 215 after closing with a 71 over the 6,303-yard Tom Weiskopf-designed course at The Country Club, south-west of Manila.
Starting the day with a four-stroke lead, Renuka closed with an adventurous round that featured six birdies, including one at the last, three bogeys and a triple-bogey seven at the 386-yard ninth hole where she suffered the anguish of seeing three chip shots coming up short and rolling back to her feet.
“My driver was good today,” said the Pathum Thani native, winner of the Singha-Sat Toyota Championship on the Thai domestic Tour in June.
Chonlada, who turned pro last year after graduating from Iowa State University, put herself in contention with a birdie at the 13th hole to get to five-under. She then stumbled with bogeys at 15 and 16. “My aim this week was top five or top three because the course is hard and the greens are fast,” said the 25-year-old Nakhon Ratchasima native.
Zhang Jienalin finished as the top Chinese mainland player in equal sixth on 217. “I could have been better,” said the 21-year-old. “Today there were some mistakes I should have avoided.”