Bangkok, Thailand: Thai Parinda Phokan captured her first China LPGA Tour title in dominant fashion, romping to a six-stroke victory at the PTT Thailand LPGA Masters.
The 21-year-old Khon Kaen native, who never trailed in the Baht 4 million (about US$123,000) tournament, closed with a 69 at Panya Indra Golf Club to finish on 14-under 202. The victory at the tournament tri-sanctioned with the Thai LPGA and Australian LPG Tours was worth Baht 600,000 (about US$18,500).
“I feel really proud of myself because this year I can do it. I waited too many years to be a winner and this year I made it,” said Parinda who earned her second victory of the season after winning on the domestic Thai Tour in April. “Today I just focused on shooting two- or three-under and having fun out there.”
Thai amateur Kultida Pramphun finished runner-up after the 17-year-old Bangkok native closed with a 67 for her best round of the week. Her compatriot Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (69) was equal third with Korean Park Jin-hee (71) and New Zealander Munchin Keh (71), eight strokes behind the winner.
Du Mohan (69) and Liu Yan (71) were the top Chinese in the 114-player field, finishing equal ninth, 10 strokes off the winning score.
Parinda, whose 14-under mark set new record for lowest score at the six-year-old tournament, closed with a round that featured five birdies and two bogeys, including one at the last.
“I was a little excited by that time (at the 366-yard 18th),” she said. “I knew I was the leader by seven strokes so I wasn’t worried. Bogey is okay.”
Du, who turned professional last week in Liaoning, said she was happy to finish with consecutive rounds of 69, posting only a lone bogey over the final 36 holes.
“My next step is that I can be under-par each round and post a decent start,” said the 16-year-old Beijinger, noting the dominance of the Thais who occupied six of the top eight spots on the leaderboard.
“They are more in numbers than the Chinese girls. It’s a larger talent pool from Thailand. Next year I think that a Chinese player can win this. Hopefully I am among those in contention down the stretch.”
Arpichaya Yubol, the 16-year-old Thai sensation who was chasing her sixth straight Thai LPGA Tour win, closed with a 70 to finish equal 14th. Compatriot Saranporn Langkulgasettrin, the current CLPGA Tour Order of Merit leader, blew up to an 80 to finish equal 47th.
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