Nishna finishes 46th at Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, Taipei’s Huang records stunning win
A triple bogey on the final hole ruined her card as India’s Nishna Patel shot a four-for-76 in the final round to earn a tie for 46th at the Asia-Pacific Women’s Amateur Championship on Sunday.
The 16-year-old schoolgirl from Mumbai was struggling with 1-over until she came for her final hole, the ninth. She tripled the bogey to finish with a four-day total of eight out of 296.
“A disappointing end, but still a good experience,” said Nishna, the only Indian to qualify. The other five Indian girls – Avani Prashanth, Kriti Chowhan, Sifat Sagoo, Mannat Brar and Ceerat Kang – were all on the pitch to see some terrific action on the final day, and had already missed the cut.
Petite but compact 17-year-old Ting-Hsuan Huang, who has often succeeded at crucial moments in her short but impressive career, stunned the local Thais with a superb performance on the last seven holes to claim the championship on Sunday.
Huang (69) finished 11 under the Waterside course at Siam Country Club, while Thai Natthakritta Vongtaveelap (75) was 9 under to sign in second place.
Three players, Lee Hyosong (66), Japan’s Yuna Araki (69) and Rianne Mikhaela Malixi (72), with the former Asian No.1 pro and her coach, Rick Gibson, on the bag finished tied for third place.
Huang, who likes to be called “Tiffany Huang” and carries a yardage book by that name, started the final round with a four-to-8 under lead. Playing with local favorites, top-ranked Thai Natthakritta, and little-known Thai 22nd-ranked Suvichaya Vinijchaitham, Huang produced smart golf.
She remained calm even though Natthakritta constantly chased her, sometimes up to 50 meters away. The final charge began with a bunker hole on the Par-3 12th, where Natthakritta bogeyed and Suvichaya double bogeyed.
Huang built on it and gradually progressed to take the lead on his own. When Natthakritta missed a four-putt birdie on the 18th, Huang made his birdie putt just inside that distance for a two-putt victory.
Huang’s final included four birdies against an eagle in the final seven holes as the leading group finished in the rain. Earlier, co-leader Suvichaya (75) with two doubles and a bogey in the final seven holes, slumped and finished tied for ninth, alongside defending champion and 36-point leader Mizuki Hashimoto holes.
The world’s highest ranked player in the field, Saki Baba (66), after a modest 73-70-73 the first three days, shot a little too late and ended in a three-way tie with Lim Jiyoo, one of the four co-leaders, and another Chinese Taipei player, Lu Hsin-Yu (69) at under 6.
The victory gives Huang starting spots in two major championships in 2023 – the AIG Women’s Open and the Amundi Evian Championship – in addition to the Hana Financial Group Championship and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
“I was nervous, but I just played my game,” said Huang. “I am delighted to go to the Women’s Open, the Evian Championship and Augusta. Huang has an impressive track record. She finished fourth at the recent Junior Girls World Championship; tied for third in the individual standings at the Queen Sirikit Cup (best was 2021 WAAP winner Mizuki Hashimoto).
In July this year she won the North & South Amateurs, played over three courses at Pinehurst. She topped the Chinese Taipei Trials for the 2023 Asian Games and won the Annika Sorenstam Invitational in 2019. She has also finished in the Top 10 in professional events on the Chinese Taipei Professional Circuit, including a second place in Taiwan Mobile. Open to ladies.
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