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2015 Taiwan LPGA Tour Taifong Ladies Open Final-Round Recap
Date:2015-01-26

A new champion was crowned at the 2015 Taifong Ladies Open. Kuo Ai-Chen (郭艾榛) of Taiwan came through a toe-to-toe battle with compatriot, Cheng Ssu-Chia (程思嘉) to take the victory with a three-round total of 7-under209. She wrapped up the final-round a second consecutive low-round 69. Cheng’s bogey finish on hole 18 sent her into a second-place tie with Lin Tzu-Chi (林子麒) at 213.

Kuo becomes the third name to be on the winner list over the tournament’s seven-year history after Teresa Lu (盧曉晴) and Yani Tseng (曾雅妮). This is also her maiden title since she turned professional in 2009.

Kuo was 5 shots back at one point earlier in the day, but crawling her way back with some superb putting and eventually being 4 shots ahead of Cheng, who started the day also at 140. Kuo broke down in joyful tears after sinking the last of her six birdie putts on the 18th. Win the win, Kuo gets the first-place prize check worth NT$2 million and the winner points that will expect to give her a jump in the Women’s World Golf Rankings.

“It has been a long road, but I finally made it. And I feel like all the hard work I put was all worth it,” said an emotional Kuo. “Words can’t describe how happy I’m. I want to thank my families and friends who have always been so supportive. I’m grateful to have them by my side.”

It looked like Cheng was going to win the whole thing with a perfect start to the final Sunday. The teenager who owned four titles already as an amateur and only turned pro last month opened with three birdies in a row and scored another on hole 6, where Kuo hit out of bounds and made a double-bogey, gaining a dominant lead by 5 strokes.

However, going onto the back nine, Kuo stared to cast her putting magic again. She needed just 25 and 24 in the previous two rounds. Kuo birdied the 12th to 14th back to back to back, and a final birdie putt on the 18th was just the 26th needed for the entire round.

“I was really concentrated on my putter and I really practiced very hard with it everyday like three hours a day,” said Kuo. “Other than that, I think I was doing a good job getting calmer and more focused and not to go for the shots too quickly without thinking for my strategy properly.”

“It is so amazing to see my name getting up next to the likes of Teresa (Lu) and Yani (Tseng). It’s the best feeling in the world!” said Kuo.

“It’s the same thing like yesterday. I was thinking too much midway and that paid the price,” said Cheng, who faded from a seemingly decisive lead after a bogey on the 7th. “This is just the second tournament for me after I turned pro. I believe I’m going to put myself into this kind of position more often in the future so, it’s been a great learning experience!”

Thailand’s Wichanee Meechai and Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul finished in a tie for fourth at 214, making themselves among the top five girls who will be awarded ranking points for next week.

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