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Hong goes wire-to-wire for Brunei win
Last Updated: 2018-03-20 13:34 | Xinhua
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Hong Ran earned her first victory since 2010 on Monday when the South Korean golfer won the inaugural Brunei Ladies Open title after going wire-to-wire for a five stroke win.

The 31-year-old closed with a bogey-free round of seven-under 64, the same score she posted in the opening round, to finish on 18-under par for the tournament.

Her fourth career win was worth KRW140 million (US$130,774). Hong's compatriots Choi Ka-ram (64), Ji Han-sol (66) Han Jin-seon (68) and Jang Eun-soo (68) were equal runners-up at the Empire Hotel and Country Club course.

The KRW700 million tournament was sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, the Brunei Darussalam Golf Association and the LPGA of South Korea Tour (KLPGA).

Starting the day with a one stroke lead, Hong came out strong with birdies on the opening two holes. She then picked up more strokes with birdies at the eighth and ninth holes to go 15-under at the turn.

Birdies at the 11th, 12th and 16th holes kept her competition at bay and sealed the win. "I am so happy to win a KLPGA tournament, it has been eight years. My conditioning was the best in the past three days, so good conditioning is the main reason that I won this tournament. When I made a long putt at the 12th hole I felt like I will win the tournament," Hong said.

Hong said the tournament win gives her a lot of confidence and that she looks forward to being more competitive in the rest of the season.

Thailand's Supamas Sangchan closed with her best round of the week, a five-under 66, to finish sixth at 11-under par, the best finish among the CLPGA Tour regulars. Fellow Thai, Pavarisa Yoktuan (66) was two strokes further back in ninth.

Chen Liqin (70), Sui Xiang (71) and Luo Ying (72) were the top Chinese players, all tied for 52nd place at one-under par.

"I got lots of birdies today but still made lots of mistakes. I am basically satisfied with my performances in these three days," said the 19-year-old Sui, a second-year pro from Guangdong whose adventurous round included five birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey.

The Empire Hotel and Country Club is a 6,397-yard, par-71 layout designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Brunei Ladies Open third round leading scores (China unless stated) 195 – Hong Ran (South Korea) 64-67-64

200 – Choi Ka-ram (South Korea) 70-66-64, Ji Han-sol (South Korea) 69-65-66, Han Jin-seon (South Korea) 67-65-68, Jang Eun-soo (South Korea) 67-65-68

202 – Supamas Sangchan (Thailand) 69-67-66

203 – Jang Su-yeon (South Korea) 68-68-67, Kim Su-ji (South Korea) 69-65-69

204 – Pavarisa Yoktuan (Thailand) 70-68-66, Kim So-yi (South Korea) 70-68-66, Lee Seung-hyun (South Korea) 68-68-68, Park Ji-young (South Korea) 69-66-69, Lee Jung-min (South Korea) 67-66-70

205 – Kim Ye-jin (South Korea) 68-72-65, Hong Jin-joo (South Korea) 73-66-66, Park Chae-yoon (South Korea) 68-70-67, Lee Ji-hoo (South Korea) 70-68-67, Cho Jeong-min (South Korea) 69-68-68, Oh Ji-hyun (South Korea) 66-70-69, Choi Eun-woo (South Korea) 67-69-69

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