Zhang storms to victory in Le Coq Sportif Beijing Ladies Classic

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-26 20:14:52|Editor: Li Xia
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BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Zhang Weiwei captured her second China LPGA Tour victory on Sunday when the Hubei native closed with an impressive seven-under 65 to win the Le Coq Sportif Beijing Ladies Classic by three strokes.

With an overnight thunderstorm and rain delaying the final group's tee time by almost three hours in the Chinese capital, Zhang picked an ideal time to shoot her best round of the week in finishing on 14-under 202 at Beijing Orient Pearl Country Club.

The victory was worth RMB120,000.

Overnight leader Du Mohan (70) made a birdie on the last hole to finish equal second, while fellow Chinese Pan Yanhong (69) was third at four strokes back. Thailand's Chonlada Chayanun (66) and China's Liu Yiyi (68) were equal fourth at six strokes off the pace.

As the sun came out during her round, Zhang, a winner in Zhuhai in 2017, made a birdie four on the first hole, one of seven she would card on the day, on her way to her fourth consecutive top-10 finish of the young season.

"This win should be a godsend. If I passed through the US Women's Open sectional qualifying [held earlier this month] I wouldn't be here to win this. Instead I would go to USA for it," said the 22-year-old.

"I wasn't in a good health today and hadn't high hopes. I had nothing distracting in my mind and just focused my game at hand. My putting was good, but I also like the way I played off the tee."

Du, who had a two-shot lead going into the day, found trouble early when her second shot on the 552-yard fourth hole went into the woods and she lost her ball. It proved the turning point as the Beijing teenager signed for a double bogey seven while Zhang, who missed a six-foot putt for eagle, made birdie on the hole.

"It was just a bad swing. It's not about my strategy. I hit a three-wood for the past two days. There are many birdies holes to play. I didn't make any mistakes after that," said the 17-year-old who also led in Hong Kong two weeks ago through 36 holes.

"Zhang Weiwei earned it. She played pretty good. She made all putts within 10 feet but I didn't. That's the difference between her and me. I believe I can get my first pro win in the next three weeks. I will play them all."

Pan, who is back playing competitively after taking time off to have a child last year, was delighted with her bogey-free round and best finish of the season.

"I am pleased to feel the heat again," said the Hebei native, a five-time winner on the CLPGA Tour. "I was in the final group, which is what you want going into this week. I had some birdie chances, which I didn't take advantage of. I misread some of them. I lost to Zhang Weiwei who played better with approach shots and made all the putts."

Chonlada, equal ninth in Hong Kong two weeks ago, also put together her best result of the year when the fourth-year pro carded a round that featured seven birdies, five of them on the back nine, and a lone bogey at the par-five last.

"Every shot was really good, especially my first shot. I made some putts but I still miss a lot too, close putts like six footers. I missed on like three or four holes. But my first shot really good today until the last hole," said the 26-year-old from Nakhon Ratchasima province in Thailand's north-east.

China's Cai Danlin and Chinese Taipei's Hou Yu-chiang were the top amateurs. The teenagers both closed with even-par 72 to finish four-under in equal eighth in a group of six players that included two-time defending champion Shi Yuting (69).