Wuhan, China: Chinese-Taipei’s Huang Ching captured her first China LPGA Tour title after closing with back-to-back birdies at the Orient Masters Wuhan Challenge in Hubei.
Having started the day with a one-shot lead, Huang recovered from a stumbling start to post a 71 and finish on nine-under 207 at Orient Wuhan. Her two-stroke victory was worth RMB75,000.
Kanyalak Preedasuttijit was runner-up after closing with a 68 for her best round of the week. Her fellow-Thai Wanchana Poruangrong (73), was a further shot back in third.
Sui Xiang (69) was the top Chinese player. The second-year pro from Guangdong finished fourth, four shots behind Huang.
After a bogey-five at the 358-yard first saw her surrender her lead, Huang dropped another shot at the fifth hole. With playing partner Wanchana ahead by one through six holes, Huang made a birdie-three at the 329-yard seventh hole to regain a share of the lead.
When Wanchana ran up a double-bogey five at the 153-yard eighth, Huang found herself back atop the leaderboard and proceeded to put together a strong back nine featuring three birdies and a bogey to seal the win.
“I had a slow start today, missing a three-foot putt on the first hole. But I kept counting the scores of my opponents and kept telling myself not to miss any chances,” said Huang, a 21-year-old Kaohsiung native whose only previous pro win came at a two-day futures event last year in Chinese Taipei.
“My first win on the China Tour and I am very satisfied with my performance. I have been practicing my putting a lot and it finally paid off.”
Wanchana, who started her round with seven consecutive pars, said her iron play let her down in the quest for a first CLPGA Tour win. She now has two top-three finishes this year in five starts in China.
The 19-year-old Sui posted her fourth top-10 finish in seven starts this season with a bogey-free final round that included three birdies.
Wang Jiayi (73) and Wang Xinying (71) were the top amateurs as the Chinese teenagers finished on one-under 215 in equal-eighth place.
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