Selangor, April 11, 2014 – South Korea turned the tables on overnight leaders Philippines to clinch a record 16th crown at the 36th Asia Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup at Saujana Golf & Country Club today.
The East Asian powerhouse comprising Gyeol Park, Lee So-young and Choi Hye-jin, amassed 425 strokes for a six-stroke victory over China and the Philippines to bounce back in style following their single-shot defeat to Australia at last year’s edition in Chinese Taipei.
“We are very proud and honoured to continue South Korea’s winning tradition in this championship. The result speaks for itself and each member of our team contributed to the cause, especially Lee who stood out for us this week. Even our youngest team member Choi came back strongly with a contributing score on the final day, so it was a great team effort,” said Park.
Digging deep once again, the consistent Lee chalked-up a three-under 69 on the scoreboard while fellow debutant Choi carded her personal best of 70 for a daily team score of 139, edging out China (143) and the Philippines (145) who finished on a share of second on 431.
“We knew we had to make up a two-shot deficit but we did not want to think about our competitors. We stayed focus on our own game, gave it our best and I believe we left nothing behind on the golf course,” said Lee.
China equaled their best-ever finish in the history of the competition, thanks to an impressive three-day performance by individual champion Shi Yuting who notched rounds of 70, 68 and 71 for a seven-under 209 total.
“I struggled with the heat throughout the week but my putting was brilliant and I have to thank my captain and coach who not only provided the motivation, but ensured that I conserved my energy out there,” said the 16-year-old Shanghai lass.
“I entered this tournament with little expectations of winning it. I just played to my own rhythm and I’m very happy with my score over the three days. Even today, when Lee managed four birdies in the front nine, I didn’t feel any pressure,” noted the up-and-coming Chinese starlet, who was elated with her first major victory outside of home soil as she finished with a two-shot advantage over Chinese Taipei’s Ssu-chia Cheng and Korea’s Lee.
Looking to claim their maiden victory, the Philippines came up short with Claire Amelia P. Legaspi (76) and Pauline Del Rosario (78) failing to bolster a one-under 71 effort by South East Asia (SEA) Games champion Princess Mary Superal.
Meanwhile, Hannah Green and Shelly Shin notched matching 69s to lift Australia to fourth place on 435, three clear of Japan.
On the domestic front, Malaysia settled for 12th placing with the trio of Nur Durriyah Damian, Diane Luke Jia Zhen and Kelie Kan Kah Yan totalling 460 overall.
Putting a royal seal of approval to the championship, Her Majesty The Queen Hajjah Haminah Hamidon presented the challenge trophy – named in honour of Queen Sirikit of Thailand, to the victorious South Koreans.
Hong Kong are due to host the 37th edition next year at Hong Kong Golf Club’s Fanling course.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
425 – Korea
431 – China, The Philippines
435 – Australia
438 – Japan
439 – Chinese Taipei
446 – Thailand
447 – Indonesia
456 – India
457 – New Zealand
459 – Hong Kong
460 – Malaysia
464 – Singapore
LEADING INDIVIDUAL OVERALL SCORES
209 – Shi Yuting (CHN) 70-68-71
211 – Ssu-chia Cheng (TPE) 75-67-69, Lee So-young (KOR) 71-71-69
214 – Princess Mary Superal (PHI) 74-69-71
217 – Hannah Green (AUS) 75-73-69, Gyeol Park (KOR) 72-72-73, Haruka Morita (JPN) 71-73-73