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.
Doha, Qatar: The month of April is synonymous in golf for the Masters, and each year Education City Golf Club runs its own version of the tournament over the course which hosts the European Tour’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.