Sports / Golf

Pimpadsorn gets first overseas win at CTBC Ladies Open

( Updated: 2014-09-21 14:55

Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro captured her first China LPGA Tour victory on Saturday when the Thai ace beat Chinese Taipei amateur Cheng Ssu-chia in a playoff at the CTBC Ladies Open.

With both players deadlocked at even-par 216 after 54 holes at Orient (Taipei) Golf and Country Club, Pimpadorn (70), a two-time winner on the Thai domestic circuit this year, ended it with a par on the third extra hole, the 500-yard, par-five 18th. Needing a five-foot putt to prolong the playoff, the 16-year-old Cheng could only watch as her ball lipped the edge of the cup and stayed out.

"I never expect about winning, but I expect to play under par," said Pimpadorn, who returned to competitive golf last year after a five-year break to study textile manufacturing in Russia. "My driver and my confidence were key this week. I hit 13 fairways today and I just felt good out there."

With tropical storm Fung Wong threatening to blow into Taiwan, an early start was ordered to ensure that the first regular season tournament co-sponsored by the China LPGA Tour and LPGA Tour of Taiwan would complete its final round of the NT5 million tournament.

Pimpadsorn, a 25-year-old from Chiang Mai, started the day three strokes off the lead and stayed on course by battling her way through the windy conditions to an even-par 36 after nine holes. She then carded an eagle three at the 10th, followed by a birdie three at the next.

"This was my first playoff. Yesterday, when I was having dinner with a friend, I had a sixth sense that I was going to get into a playoff and win. So my sixth sense came real," she said.

Cheng, the silver medal winner at the Youth Olympics last month in Nanjing, got her round in gear immediately when she started with an eagle three on her first hole. After making the turn at two-under 34, she birdied the 10th and then picked up another stroke at the 15th hole. On the final hole, the teenager carded a birdie to force an unlikely playoff after starting her round six shots off the lead.

"This is my first playoff and I couldn’t have been more nervous. This is my home course and so many fans were out there rooting for me. I put added pressure on myself, but I didn’t expect a win before the tournament because I was six shots behind," said Cheng, who has won three times on the TLPGA circuit over the past two years.

"Monday I am going to Korea for the Asian Games. I played well this week and my confidence is high, even though I missed the last makeable putt."

Symetra Tour regular Hsu Wei-ling of Chinese Taipei finished the tournament in third after closing with a 74, three shots back. Fellow islanders Chien Pei-yun (76), Tsai Pei-yung (76) and amateur Chang Ya-chun (73) were equal fourth, tied with Thailand’s Saraporn Chamchoi (71).

Amateur Ye Lei (75) was the best performer from Chinese mainland in the field in equal eighth, while overnight leader Chen Liqing ballooned to an 80 to finish equal 11th.

Most Popular
What's Hot