KOREA’S Euna Koh beat Pauline del Rosario in a playoff to top the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Challenge on Thursday at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
The 18-year-old Koh hit a pitching wedge from 120 yards to four feet off the cup in their sudden death on No. 18 and calmly sank the putt after the Filipina ace flubbed her birdie bid from eight feet.
“I was shaking because I’m hungry but I was happy to have pulled it off,” said the 18-year-old shotmaker from Gwangju and a mainstay at Riviera in Silang, Cavite who ended a string of poor finishes in the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Tour with a P250,000 victory.
Koh overhauled Del Rosario’s huge five-shot lead with a remarkable 35 at the front but bogeyed No. 16 and wound up with a 72.
Del Rosario birdied that par-5 hole for a crucial two-shot swing and matched Koh’s pars in the last two to card a 77 for a six-over 222 to force a playoff in the third leg of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Tour.
It was a sorry setback for the 17-year-old Del Rosario, who had looked forward to scoring a breakthrough win in just her third pro tournament after surging to a four-stroke lead over Thailand’s Numa Gulyanamitta and five clear of Koh after the second round of the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Del Rosario, who tied for 15th at Mt. Malarayat after a joint runner-up finish Splendido, settled for P120,000.
Nemittra Juntanaket also birdied No. 16 to save a 75 and tied fellow Thai Gulyanamitta, who turned in a 76, at third at 225 worth P80,500 each.
Indonesia’s Jessica Lydia rallied with a 74 to place solo fifth at 227 and pocket P65,000.
Nimmitta Juntanaket signed a second straight 78 for sixth at 228 while last year’s Orchard leg winner Chihiro Ikeda closed with a 72 to finish seventh at 229 followed by Thai Jaruporn Palakawongnaayuttawa (76-230), 2015 winner Cristina Corpus (77-232) and Apple Fudolin (74-232), and 2015 Sherwood leg champion Sarah Ababa (81-238) and Thai Janjira Tiensa-ard (79-238) in the P1 million event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.