Beijing, China: Shi Yuting successfully defended her Le Coq Sportif Beijing Ladies Classic title when the Chinese pro sank a 15-foot birdie putt at the second hole of a play-off to defeat New Zealand’s Munchin Keh.
While Shi carded her second consecutive round of 66 over the Beijing Orient Pearl Golf Club, Keh closed with a 65 as the duo finished deadlocked at 11-under 205 in regulation play.
After both players made birdie on the first hole of the play-off, the 499-yard par-five 18th, Shi put the pressure on when she successfully converted her birdie putt at the second extra hole, the 18th again.
Keh was unable to make an eight-foot putt to prolong the shootout, ensuring Shi of a third China LPGA Tour victory.
“I really wanted to win the championship and I refrained from thinking about it, fearing that it would distract my attention. It was too hard,” said the 20-year-old Beijing native who earned RMB120,000 for the win.
Liu Wenbo, the Chinese amateur who led through two rounds, closed with a 70 to finish equal third at two shots back, tied with compatriot Sui Xiang (68).
Chinese veteran Yang Taoli (69) was equal fifth at the RMB800,000 China LPGA Tour event, tied with Thai Wannasiri Sirisampant (70).
Keh, a 25-year-old from Pakuranga, posted her best finish on the CLPGA Tour on the strength of an outstanding round that featured eight birdies, including one at the last hole, and a lone bogey at the 368-yard 11th.
“I’m pretty happy with my performance this week. It gives me more confidence. I am not really disappointed with the result,” said the second-year pro. “I played well and caught lots of chances. I am enjoying playing in China.”
Nicollet Sharmila, the first-round co-leader from India, who was one shot back through 36 holes, ballooned to a 76 to finish equal 14th.
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