Teen pro Pauline del Rosario earns China LPGA Tour card

PAULINE del Rosario qualified for the tough China LPGA Tour, finishing tied for 15th in a field of 110 in the 54-hole eliminations at The Dunes of Shenzhou Peninsula West course in Wanning, Hainan, China.

The 19-year-old Del Rosario, who won four events on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour to top the Order of Merit in her rookie season, shot rounds of 72-75-73 for joint 15th.

Also finishing at 200 were Thailad’s Thanaporn Palitwanon (72) and Chinese amateurs Liu Yiyi (71) and Zhang Jingwen (73).

They finished 12 shots behind Tahnia Ravnjak of Thailand, who banked on a solid first-round 68 at the seaside Tom Weiskoph-designed layout to assemble a 208 after a closing 70. Chinese amateur Zhang Yue also carded a 70 and placed second at 211 while Taiwanese Chieh Peng matched par 72 and a 214 for third in the event which also drew players from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Australia.

“The field was strong and the course was tough so I’m very happy to have qualified,” said Del Rosario, who highlighted her big 2017 debut with a victory in the Taiwan LPGA last September.

The China LPGA, one of the premier ladies circuits in the region, has lined up 16 tournaments this year beginning with the Brunei Ladies Open from March 17 to 19.

Del Rosario, meanwhile, resumes her campaign on the LPGT on Wednesday in the ICTSI Splendido Ladies Classic where she is the defending champion.

The former De La Salle-Zobel standout, who gave up a golf scholarship at University of Kansas to pursue a pro career, beat former three-time LPGT money list topnotcher Cyna Rodriguez by seven last November to cap a four-title romp.


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