Shi Yuting won the individual event at the Asia-Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup.
SUBANG: South Korea reigned supreme to nail their sweet 16th team title on a day when 16-year-old Shi Yuting of China also stole the show in the Asia-Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
On Friday, South Korea represented by their three young stars Lee So-young, Park Gyeol and Choi Hye-jin sizzled under the scorching heat with a 425 total score over three days to keep their impressive stronghold intact in the tournament.
Their strong performance showed that the South Korean women’s team are also shaping up nicely ahead of the Incheon Asian Games in September.
Overnight leader Philippines led by Princess Mary Superal and China led by Yuting finished tied at second just two strokes adrift of the champions. Both teams gave a good chase from the back nine but it was not good enough to break the domination of the Koreans.
Asiad trainee So-young, who carded a five-under 211, was on cloud nine after achieving the extraordinary feat for her nation.
“We came into this tournament knowing very well that we had a good history and we did not want to be the team to ruin it. Fortunately, we kept the good tradition alive,” said So-young.
“We started off two strokes behind leader Philippines but all my team members were very focused and patient today. They did exceptionally well to execute some good shots and it saw us through,” she said.
So-young, Gyeol and Hye-jin are currently the top three golfers among the 16 Asiad trainees and the former believes their good outing here will put them in good stead ahead of the Games.
Malaysia, comprising Dianne Luke Jia Zhen, Nur Darriyah Damian and Kelie Kan, however showed that they still have some polishing up to do when they struggled throughout the competition to finish 12th with a combined score of 460.
Meanwhile, Yuting may have failed to lead her team to break the South Korean domination but the soft-spoken golfer can still walk tall for winning her first title outside of China.
On Friday, she emerged tops in the individual event with her sterling seven-under 209 for the champion’s trophy.
“It was really hot but my team members were passing me ice packs and fluids to keep me going. Their support helped me stay focused throughout the 18 holes,” she said.
“My putting was really good today. I was leading the fray by four strokes but did not let it pressure me. Some of the other golfers were playing crazy but I just stuck to my game.”
When asked about her confidence and good grip of the game at such a young age, she said: “I like the sport and have won a couple of titles back home. This is my first win outside China and it will surely motivate me to achieve more.”