Sangchan nips Ardina on 6th playoff hole, bags crown

Thai Supamas Sangchan bucked the odds, including a two-shot deficit, a hostile gallery and a tough Dottie Ardina, to prevail on the sixth extra hole and capture the Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open 2013 crown at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club, recently.

Sangchan watched Ardina flub a par-saving 10-footer on the par-4 No. 1 of Mt. Makulot then rolled in her own par bid from three feet to clinch the crown and end the longest playoff duel in the country’s premier ladies golfing championship presented by Champion Infinity.

The Thai ace, who placed eighth at Wack Wack last year, birdied the par-5 18th in regulation to close out with a 73 and force the sudden death at 218 after the ICTSI-The Country Club spearhead, who started the final round two-up on Sangchan, settled for a par and a 75.

The two went par-birdie-par in their first three stints on No. 18 in the playoff before the duel shifted to No. 1 where both made bogeys twice before Sangchan came through with a superb pitch that set up that title-clinching three-footer.

Ardina also missed the green but failed to complete an up-and-down bid from 10 feet, leaving her again without the crown that meant so much to her.

It was a sorry setback for the 18-year-old Ardina, who had looked forward to a successful campaign after storming in front with a 72 in demanding condition in the second round of the 54-hole event organized by Women’s Golf Association of the Phils.

But the reigning Taiwan Amateur champion struggled in the final round, succumbing to testy pin placements for a 40 at the turn. But she fought back at the back and kept her title bid going in the event backed by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Coca Cola, Duty Free Phils., Pacsports with support from the Department of Tourism.

In the end, Sangchan proved steadier to frustrate Ardina and her horde of supporters and become the first Thai to win the crown since former national team mainstay Yupaporn Kawinpakorn humbled the field and reigned in 2007.

Malaysian Michelle Koh placed third with a 220 after a 74 while Orchard’s Claire Legaspi carded a 77 and ended up fourth at 224 and Thai Benyapa Nipathsophon wound up fifth at 226 after an 80 followed by Cyna Rodriguez and Lovelynn Guioguio, who had identical 228s after a 74 and 80, respectively.

Jayvie Agojo, the first round leader, made a 79 and ended up 11th at 229 while Princess Superal skied to an 83 for 14th at 232.(pr)

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