Bangkok, Thailand: Zhang Weiwei completed a wire-to-wire victory at the Trust Golf Thailand LPGA Masters to become the first player to win four times in one China LPGA Tour season.
Sparked by an opening-hole eagle-three, the 22-year-old Hubei native carded a three-under 69 for a two-stroke victory at Panya Indra Golf Club.
Zhang, who also won in Wuhan, Beijing and last weekend in Hangzhou, finished on 12-under 204 to earn THB600,000 (about US$20,000) at the tournament tri-sanctioned by the China LPGA, Thai LPGA and the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour.
“This is my fourth championship this year and the sixth in my career. This back-to-back championship made me feel great,” she said. “I came here to break the record. At the beginning of the year, I set myself the goal of entering the top 250 in the world ranking and winning three championships.”
Thai Patcharajutar Kongkraphan was runner-up following a 69, while China’s Du Mohan (66) finished third, three shots off the pace.
Zhang, who has likely played her last China LPGA Tour event of the year as she plans to attend qualifying tournaments for the Tours in the US and Japan, went into the final round with a two-stroke lead from Patcharajutar.
She followed her eagle at the 491-yard first with another at the 483-yard sixth in a front nine that also included a birdie at the fifth and two bogeys. She parred each of her final 11 holes.
“Today I played very smoothly because, in fact, I won a lot in the first nine holes,” said Zhang. “The first eagle was beyond my expectation and gave me a lot of confidence.”
Patcharajutar, the struggling US LPGA Tour player, snared five birdies against two bogeys. Last month, she closed with a six-under 66 to finish equal second at the Singha-Sat Championship on the Thai LPGA Tour.
A four-time winner on the China LPGA Tour in 2010 and 2011, the Nakhon Ratchasima native said: “I finished second in my last Thai event. I’m going to practice the next couple of weeks in Thailand and then go to the US. I have two more LPGA events left so I will just do my best.”