MANILA – Thailand’s 22 year-old Renuka Suksukont captured her first international title on Saturday when the Thai completed a wire-to-wire victory at the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters in Laguna province.
The 22-year-old closed with a round of even-par 72 to finish on five-under 211 for a two stroke win. The victory at US$80,000 event, co-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, Ladies Philippine Golf Tour and LPGA of Taiwan, was worth US$15,000.
“Finally, I got a championship outside of Thailand and my first CLPGA win,” said Renuka. “It’s amazing, it happens so fast. I am very happy now.”
Ploychompoo Wirairungrueng (67) and Chonlada Chayanun (70) made it a Thai sweep in finishing equal runner-up, while Korean amateur Hwang Min-jeong was fourth at four strokes back after closing with a 71 at The Country Club south-west of Manila.
Starting the day with a four stroke lead, Renuka closed with an adventurous round that featured six birdies, including one at the last, three bogeys and a triple-bogey seven at the 386-yard ninth hole.
“My driver was good today, the putts are okay,” said the Pathum Thani native, winner of the Singha-Sat Toyota Championship on the Thai domestic tour in June.
“On the triple bogey, I hit it three times at the same place beside the green. I chipped short and the ball comes back. I chipped it again and it comes back. I chip another time and miss the putt. I didn’t think anything. If the tournament is mine I can make birdie, if it’s not mine, whatever.”
Chonlada, who turned pro last year after graduating from Iowa State University, put herself in contention with a birdie at the 13th hole to get to five-under. She then stumbled to consecutive bogeys starting at the 15th hole.
“My aim this week was top five or top three because the course is hard and the greens are fast. But today I made it. I am happy now,” said the 25-year-old Nakhon Ratchasima native.
Zhang Jienalin finished the top Chinese mainland player in equal sixth as the Henan native closed with even-par 72, six shots off the pace.
“In general, I reached my own expectations but I could have been better,” said the 21-year-old. “Today there was some mistakes I should have avoided at holes eight and 10. I shot in the water at hole eight and almost in the water at hole 14. Today my irons were good, the four birdies were short-distance putts.”
Source: Al Campbell