Ye Lei holds her trophy after winning the Orient Women's China Open. Photo: Courtesy of China Golf Association
Angelina Ye Lei captured her first golf title as a professional in impressive fashion as she outdueled Chinese amateur Wang Zixuan down the stretch to win the Women's China Open by two strokes in Xiamen,www888slot East China's Fujian Province.
With the 22-year-old rookie pro holding a one-stroke lead over the Beijing teenager going into the final round at the Orient Golf and Country Club, Ye closed with a five-under 67 to Wang's 68 to put her name on the trophy at the 13th national championship.
The win was worth 75,000 yuan ($10,592) to Ye, who finished with a 54-hole score of 14-under 202. She also earned six world ranking points for her victory at the China LPGA Tour's flagship event.
"The most difficult putt was the last putt from three feet. I knew that I had a two-shot lead, but I really wanted to end the event without any bogey. To my great relief, I made it perfect and earned my maiden victory," said Shanghai native Ye, who became the first player in CLPGA Tour history to win a tournament without dropping a shot.
"I have been a pro for five months. I have just played six or seven events as a pro. I must say that this win was quick. But my CLPGA debut was 10 years ago when I was 12 years old. In that case, it's also a long time."
China's Michelle Zhang (Zhang Yunxuan) closed with a 69 to finish third three shots back, one shot ahead of fellow rookie pro Fiona Xu (67) of New Zealand. Thai veteran Onkanok Soisuwan (66) was fifth, five strokes off pace.
In their final-round duel, Wang struck first when she sank a six-foot downhill putt at the second for birdie to draw even. At the 320-yard next, Ye answered with a birdie to go one shot ahead. Wang then birdied the par-five fifth before both players picked up a shot on the 340-yard seventh to make the turn deadlocked at 11-under.
The back nine would prove the difference as Stanford graduate Ye would pick up consecutive birdies starting from the par-three 12th hole before making a birdie four at the 504-yard 17th. Wang could only pick up one stroke on the back, a birdie four at the 478-yard 13th hole.
"My long game was steady on the front nine which provided plenty of birdie chances. I had some lip-outs where I lost patience. I made an 18-foot birdie putt at the 12th hole, which changed my momentum a lot," said Ye.