Jerudong, Brunei: Korean Hong Ran ended an eight-year victory drought with a wire-to-wire success in the inaugural Brunei Ladies Open.
The 31-year-old closed with a bogey-free round of seven-under 64 at the Empire Hotel and Country Club, the same score she posted in the opening round.
She finished with a three-round aggregate of 18-under 195 – and a five-shot winning margin from compatriots Choi Ka-ram (64), Ji Han-sol (66) Han Jin-seon (68) and Jang Eun-soo (68).
It was Hong’s first triumph since 2010 and the fourth of her career. The win was worth KRW140 million (about US$130,774).
The KRW700 million (about US$650,000) tournament was tri-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, the Brunei Darussalam Golf Association and the LPGA of Korea Tour (KLPGA).
Starting the day with a one-stroke lead, Hong came out strong with birdies on the opening two holes. She picked up further strokes with birdies at the eighth and ninth to get to 15-under at the turn. Birdies at 11, 12 and 16 kept her rivals at bay.
“I am so happy to win a KLPGA tournament. It has been eight years. My condition was the best in the past three days. My good condition is the main factor that I won this tournament,” said the Suwan native.
“Winning the tournament will give me a lot of confidence. I will do my best to win more in the 2018 season.”
Thai Supamas Sangchan closed with her best round of the week, five-under 66, to finish sixth at 11-under, best among the China LPGA Tour regulars. Fellow-Thai Pavarisa Yoktuan (66) was two strokes further back in equal ninth.
Chen Liqin (70), Sui Xiang (71) and Luo Ying (72) were the top Chinese players, tied for equal 52nd at one-under.