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Thai grabs Champion Tour title



CARMONA, Cavite – Ploychompoo Wirairungreung of Thailand claimed the ICTSI Champion Tour crown without hitting a shot as organizers cancelled the final round of the $75,000 event at Manila Southwoods due to inclement weather.

“Because of the weather forecast and prevailing course condition, the final round of the ICTSI Champion Tour at Manila Southwoods has been cancelled,” said the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and co-sanctioning Taiwan LPGA Tour in a statement.

Incessant rains spawned by Typhoon Inday rendered some parts of the Legends course unplayable.

The organizers actually delayed the start of the final round, hoping the weather to improve but decided to cancel it altogether after a while, handing the crown to the Thai ace.

“I would’ve wanted to play because I want to see if I can measure up to the pressure and control my game in a tight championship flight,” said Wirairungreung after receiving the replica of the check worth $15,000 put up by ICTSI.

The 23-year-old shot-maker from Chiang Rai coped admirably with wet conditions in the first two days, putting in a 65 and 69 that left her with a remarkable bogey-free total of 10-under 134.

Local ace Princess Superal tried to give chase with a second round 68, moving to joint second with another Thai Supamas Sangchan, who also shot a 68, and Taiwanese amateur Hou Yu-Chiang, who made a 71, at 138.

“I feel I’m still hot from the second round. I think I’ve got a good chance to go for it,” rued the former US Girls’ Juniors winner, who also ruled the Tagaytay and Riviera stops of this year’s Ladies Philippine Golf Tour last March.

Superal and Sangchan shared the combined $12,000 for joint second place finish with Hou Yu-Chiang snaring the low amateur honors from sister Hou Yu-Sang.

Rounding up the Top 10 in the event, the first of two ICTSI Champion Tour events are fifth placer Hou Yu-Sang (70-139), also an amateur from Taiwan, No. 6 Saranporn Langkulgasettrin from Thailand (68-140), Chihiro Ikeda (66-141), and Thais Chonlada Chayanun (70), LPGT Mt. Malarayat leg winner Onkanok Soisuwan (71), Aunchisa Utama (72) and Chatprapa Siriprakob (73), who all pooled 142.