Renuka Suksukont leads Thai podium sweep in Philippine Ladies Masters
Renuka Suksukont completes a wire-to-wire win at TCC.

THAILAND’s Renuka Suksukont bucked a triple-bogey on No. 9, firing a closing 72 to win the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters crown by two on Saturday at The Country Club in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

On the brink of blowing an overnight four-stroke lead with nine holes to play, Suksukont toughened up and fired back-to-back birdies to open her back nine then pounced on fellow Thai Chayanun Chonlada’s bogey-bogey mishap from No. 15 to complete a wire-to-wire victory in her maiden stint in the 54-hole championship.

Suksukont finished at five-under 211, bagging the top prize of US$12,000 (around P600,000).

“This (win) is memorable because I made it on my first try,” said Suksukont, who led a Thai sweep of the top three places in the $80,000 event co-sanctioned by China and Taiwan LPGA Tours and Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.

It was also Suksukont’s first victory on the China LPGA Tour after posting six Top 10 finishes.

“I really didn’t expect to win given the quality of the competition but I did it,” said Suksukont.

The 24-year-old Chonlada fired a 70 for 213, which was matched by Ploychompoo Wirairungreung, who closed with a 67.

Chihiro Ikeda faltered with four bogeys in a birdie-less 76 and wound up joint 12th at 219 with Taiwanese amateur golfer Hung Jo-hua (75), Thailand’s Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang (73) and China’s Li Xiya (72).

Korea’s Hwang Min-jeong birdied the final hole to card a 71 and snatch fourth place at 215, nipping Yuka Saso for low amateur honors.

Princess Superal shot a final-round 69 for joint 17th place at 220, while Pauline del Rosario fired a 74 for 23rd place at 222.

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