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Pang powers through to claim Singapore Ladies Masters title

Updated: 2024-06-18 09:44
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China's Pang Runzhi braved the heat, humidity and fatigue to win the second edition of the Singapore Ladies Masters by a single shot over compatriot Cai Danlin at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club on Sunday.

The 17-year-old survived a tense closing stretch where she dropped two shots in her last five holes, but her final round 72 was just enough to seal victory at the China Ladies Professional Golf Association (CLPGA) sanctioned event — the only tournament on China's premier women's golf circuit held outside China in 2024.

China's Pang Runzhi, 17, poses with Singapore Ladies Masters trophy on Sunday. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

After play was disrupted by multiple weather suspensions during the first two rounds, sunny skies greeted the players on Sunday. Eighty-three players returned to complete their second round, as they continued their battle for a place in the third and final round, where the cut stood at 8-over.

Pang stormed back with four straight birdies in the morning after playing only three holes on Saturday. She then traded a double-bogey, a bogey and three birdies for a 66. The 17-year-old rookie, who came through the CLPGA Qualifying School in February, was back on the tee about two hours later for the shotgun start to the final round.

She reached the turn on 36, after posting a birdie and a bogey on the third and seventh holes, respectively. After reeling in two more birdies on holes 10 and 12, fatigue began to set in for Pang, and she bogeyed holes 14 and 17.

But, the Tianjin native, who has enjoyed three top-15 finishes in her last three starts, stayed focused to sink a par on the closing 18 to sign off with a winning three-day 7-under total of 209.

"I played 33 holes today, and it was mentally and physically exhausting. But, I took it all in my stride and I'm really happy I managed to get my breakthrough in just my fourth start on the CLPGA," said Pang.

A visibly disappointed Cai, who led the first and second round, just failed to force a playoff after missing a birdie putt from 8 feet, also conceded she was tired after playing 32 holes.

"I could not hit my shots as far as I wanted to toward the end of the round, as it was a very long and tiring day. But, congratulations to Pang for being a worthy champion," said the 21-year-old.

India's Hitaashee Bakshi finished in outright third place after signing off with a 71, while Malaysia's Jocelyn Chee, together with the Thai trio of Chonlada Chayanun, Patcharajutar Kongkraphan and Kultida Pramphun, shared fourth place, all of them posting a total of 213.

Organized by LLD Sports, the Singapore Ladies Masters was inaugurated in 2023, with then amateur Shannon Tan making history by becoming the first Singaporean to win the CLPGA sanctioned tournament. Returning to Laguna National Golf Resort Club for its second edition, the tournament featured many of China's best women's golfers, along with the region's most promising prospects. It also provided local players, including amateurs, with an opportunity to test themselves against some of the best players from around the region.


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