FUJIAN – Thailand’s Prima Thammaraks has captured her second pro win with a four-shot victory at the Xiamen Orient Masters on Saturday, as the Thai held it together under windy conditions in Fujian province to close with a final-round 74.
The second-year pro from Bangkok finished on seven-under 209 at Orient (Xiamen) Golf Country Club to earn her first China LPGA Tour title. The victory was worth RMB75,000 ($75,000USD)
South Korean Jang So-young posted a bogey-free 68 to finish equal second with compatriot Chung Ye-na (71), while first round leader Supamas Sangchan (71) of Thailand was fourth, five shots off Prima’s winning mark.
Saranporn Langkulgasettrin, the China LPGA Tour Order of Merit leader, was fifth after the Thai closed with even-par 72. Luo Ying (74) was the top Chinese player at 10 shots back in equal eighth.
Starting the day with a five shot lead, Prima played par golf through the first five holes before stumbling to double-bogey six at the 405-yard sixth hole to drop to seven-under.
She then rebounded for a birdie at the ninth hole to make the turn at one-over 37. After more bogeys at the 10th and 13th holes, the 25-year-old made a birdie at the 397-yard 14th hole before playing par golf back to the clubhouse.
“I’m very excited. Yesterday and today were played in very tough condition,” said the 25-year-old Iowa State graduate who won the Gold Coast Challenge in Australia in February. She called the win special as it came a day after the first anniversary of the death of the beloved Thai king.
Prima said she was particularly impressed with her play at the 397-yard 14th hole. After making bogey at the hole during the first two rounds, today she made a birdie when she hit her approach into the wind and landed 10 feet from the pin and made the putt.
“I am very happy to follow my plan today. My shots were good but my putts were not good enough that I didn’t make more birdies. I hit a lot good shots. The wind is stronger than yesterday so you have to be mentally calm the whole round. I am very happy right now and I can relax.”
Luo moved up the Order of Merit with her second top-10 finish of the year on six starts. As the top Chinese finisher she received a golf simulator from SG Golf as a prize.
“My shots are good but the putts are not good enough today. I even missed several close putts,” lamented the 24-year-old from Guangdong. “The most impressive was hole 12 (par-three, 128yards). The wind was so strong from right to left and I chose a longer club, a seven-iron. The shot was good but the wind made the ball come back to the outside of the green. Then a player in our group chose a much longer club but the ball still came back. It’s impossible to count the right distance on that hole. But this is a good experience in the wind, especially for the mental game.”
Lin Xiyu, the China Olympian who will be going back to the US qualifying school next month after losing her LPGA Tour playing card, closed with a 73 to finish 11 shots back in equal 12th place.
China’s Du Mohan was the top amateur as the 15-year-old Beijing native blew up to a 79 in the final round to finish equal 23rd 14 shots off the pace.
Orient (Xiamen) Golf Country Club is a 6,352-yard, par-72 layout designed by Ronald Fream and TK Pen.
By Al Campbell