BANGKOK – Parinda Phokan captured her first China LPGA Tour title in dominant fashion on Friday when the Thai romped to a six stroke victory at the PTT Thailand LPGA Masters.
The 21-year-old Khonkaen native, who never trailed in the 4 million baht tournament, closed with a final round 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 600,000 baht.
“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 Thai domestic 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. Compatriot Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (69) was equal third with Korean Park Jin-hee (71) and Kiwi Munchin Keh (71) at eight strokes back.
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.”
Liu, who earned her third top-10 finish of the season, said she was happy to finish her Bangkok campaign strongly after carding a late eagle three at the 488-yard 17th hole.
“I wasn’t feeling very comfortable at the driving range but I woke up after my tee shot went into the water at the fourth hole. I had a great eagle from a solid approach shot and then sank the seven-foot putt. At the last hole, I nearly made a 30-foot birdie putt,” said the Fujian native.
Arpichaya Yubol, the 16-year-old Thai sensation who was chasing her sixth straight TLPGA 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 at 19 strokes off the pace.
Source: Al Campbell
Panya Indra Golf Club is a 6,420-yard, par-72 layout designed by Ronald Fream.
PTT Thailand LPGA Masters third round leading scores
Players are mainland Chinese unless stated *denotes amateur
202 – Parinda Phokan (THA) 66-67-69
208 – Kultida Pramphun* (THA) 70-71-67
210 – Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (THA) 69-73-68, Park Jin-hee (KOR) 69-70-71,
Munchin Keh (NZL) 70-69-71
211 – Pitsaon Chaichompoo (THA) 70-72-69, Trichat Cheenglab (THA) 70-72-69,
Supamas Sangchan (THA) 72-69-70
212 – Jang So-young (KOR) 74-70-68, Du Mohan 73-70-69, Liu Yan 73-68-71,
Huang Ching (TWN) 69-74-69
213 – Connie Chen (RSA) 73-69-71, Jackie Chulya (THA) 70-72-71,
PK Kongkraphan (THA) 72-67-74, Waralee Atcharerk (THA) 68-69-76
214 – Chen Yu-ju (TWN) 73-71-70, Arpichaya Yubol (THA) 71-73-70,
Luo Ying 73-70-71, Princess Mary Superal (PHI) 72-70-72,
Ornnicha Konsunthea (THA) 72-70-72