Chinese Taipei’s Wu Chun-Wei survived a tense final round to pull off the biggest upset in Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship history.

A modest 264th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), the 19-year-old endured moments of high stress before completing a wire-to-wire success at Siam Country Club’s (SCC) Waterside Course, upstaging a star-studded line-up.

Struggling to find the free-wheeling form she displayed over the first three days, Wu closed with a nervous even-par 72 to secure a victory that will catapult her into the global spotlight in 2024.

After feasting on birdies for the first three days, it proved tough going for Wu to get over the finish line.

Four shots clear of the field following the opening 54 holes – during which she dropped only one stroke – Wu wobbled with four bogeys on a final day rollercoaster ride.

With her lead reduced to a single stroke after 14 holes of the final round, Wu displayed her mettle, digging deep to make crucial birdies at the 15th and 17th, where she began celebrating even before her 28-footer reached its intended target.

“Incredible! This is the first time I’ve won a big tournament,” said Wu, whose 72-hole aggregate of 18-under-par 270 was two strokes clear of runner-up Hyosong Lee, the 15-year-old Korean.

Achiraya Sriwong was a further stroke back in third after a 66, the best round of the final day, with fellow Thai Pimpisa Rubrong, fourth on 14-under-par 274. Rianne Mikhaela Malixi of the Philippines and Korean Minsol Kim ended joint fifth on 13-under-par.

As well as bettering the previous best WAAP winning total of 272 set by Mizuki Hashimoto at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in 2021, Wu is only the second champion to lead on all four days, following Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul in Singapore in 2018. Earlier in the week she also set new championship records for best 36-hole score (132), best middle 36-hole score (131), and best 54-hole score (198).

In addition to winning the Rae-Vadee T. Suwan Champion’s Medal, Wu will be rewarded with starts in three major championships in 2024 - the AIG Women’s Open at St Andrews, the Amundi Evian Championship in France and the Chevron Championship in the United States of America.

Wu Chun-Wei of Chinese Taipei poses with The Amundi Evian Championship trophy, The Chevron Championship Dinah Shore Trophy, The Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship trophy, The AIG Women's Open trophy and the Hana Financial Group Championship trophy.

Furthermore, she’ll receive invitations to several other elite championships including the Hana Financial Group Championship, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, The 121st Women’s Amateur Championship, and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Ng Jing Xuen meanwhile earned bragging rights as the best Malaysian in joint 26th position, finishing off her third WAAP appearance with a round of 71 for an aggregate of four-under-par 284 (71-74-68-71).

20-year-old Pang Hee Jie closed her campaign with a 75 to be the next best-placed Malaysian in T42 on three-over-par 291 (72-72-72-75). The third Malaysian to make the halfway cut, Foong Zi Yu, also carded in a 75 to settle in 51st position (69-77-75-75).

The best Malaysian performance is the sixth place achieved by professional Ashley Lau, at the third edition of the championship in Abu Dhabi.

The WAAP championship was developed by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to inspire future generations of women golfers. The R&A is supported by championship event partners that share its commitment to developing golf in the Asia-Pacific. The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is proudly supported by Hana Financial Group, ISPS Handa, Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings, Puma, Samsung, Singha, Ricoh, and Rolex.

For more information on the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, visit the championship website.

Final Round Scores
Top 10 & Ties
270 (-18) Wu Chun-Wei 67-65-66-72
272 (-16) Lee Hyosong 70-66-67-69
273 (-15) Sriwong Achiraya 70-68-69-66
274 (-14) Pimpisa Rubrong 68-68-68-70
275 (-13) Kim Minsol 70-69-68-68, Rianne Mikhaela Malixi 70-69-63-73
276 (-12) Justice Bosio 68-73-65-70
277 (-11) Yang Hyojin 73-65-68-71, Zhang Yahui 68-69-66-74
279 (-9) Mamika Shinchi 71-69-69-70, Avani Prashanth 68-69-71-71

 

 

 

Chinese Taipei’s Wu Chun-Wei continued to set a sizzling pace on a record-breaking day three at the sixth Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship with a bogey-free six-under-par 66 to extend her advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

Two strokes clear at the start of the round, Wu’s 54-hole aggregate of 18-under-par 198 is four shots in front of her closest pursuer, Rianne Mikhaela Malixi of the Philippines, who fired a stunning nine-under-par 63, the lowest score in WAAP history.

On a dramatic day at the Pattaya course, Navaporn Soontreeyapas also wrote her name into the WAAP record books with a hole-in-one at the 16th. Remarkably, it was the 18-year-old’s second ace of the week, having achieved the feat on the 7th hole on day one. Her latest masterstroke vaulted her into joint eighth place on nine-under 207.

Also with an eye on the big prize going into tomorrow’s final round are China’s Yahui Zhang (66) and Korean Hyosong Lee (67). They share third place on 203, one stroke ahead of fifth-placed Pimpisa Rubrong (68), who is aiming to maintain the proud Thailand record of having a player in the top-two in every edition of the championship.

Currently 15 shots behind the leader, Ng Jing Xuen leads the Malaysian challenge heading into the final day after posting a bogey-free 68 to be in tied 25th position on three-under-par overall.

Teeing off the 10th at the Waterside Course, Ng began her third round with a fiery streak of third birdies in a row. The 15-year-old then went on to add another birdie on the 17th, before closing her round with a perfect streak of pars.

"My approaching shots were good today, and my putting was so much better compared to the last two days, I had a better strategic game plan and committed to it, so I'm feeling pretty good about my game," said Ng who reflected on yesterday's game plan.

Pang Hee Jie is the next best-placed Malaysian in T37 on even-par after signing in another round of 72. While the third Malaysian in the field this weekend, Lipcomb University freshman Foong Zi Yu sits in 52nd spot on five-over-par.

The best Malaysian performance is the sixth place achieved by Ashley Lau, at the third edition of the championship in Abu Dhabi.

The WAAP championship was developed by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to inspire future generations of women golfers. The R&A is supported by championship event partners that share its commitment to developing golf in the Asia-Pacific. The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is proudly supported by Hana Financial Group, ISPS Handa, Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings, Puma, Samsung, Singha, Ricoh and Rolex.

For more information on the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, visit the championship website.

Second Round Leading Scores
Top 10 & Ties
198 (-18) Wu Chun-Wei 67-65-66
202 (-14) Rianne Mikhaela Malixi 70-69-63
203 (-13) Zhang Yahui 68-69-66, Lee Hyosong 70-66-67
204 (-12) Pimpisa Rubrong 68-68-68
206 (-10) Justice Bosio 68-73-65
Yang Hyojin 73-65-68
207 (-9) Navaporn Soontreeyapas 67-71-69, Kim Minsol 70-69-68, Sriwong Achiraya 70-68-69

 

 

Foong Zi Yu posted a three-under-par 69 at the Siam Country Club to be the leading Malaysian in tied tenth place following the first round of the 6th Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific.

The Lipscomb University freshman recorded five birdies against two bogeys to lie two shots behind joint leaders Wu Chun-Wei of Chinese Taipei and Thais Navaporn Soontreeyapas and Eila Galitsky.

"My game today has been fairly consistent overall. Like there isn't a certain part of my game that stands out today, so I would say it's all really manageable," said the 2023 SEA Games individual bronze medalist.

Asked if she has any ambitions heading into tomorrow, Foong shared, "To be honest, there are no expectations even before coming here. I guess it's just more towards being grateful I'm able to enjoy the lovely weather and great conditions."

The next best-placed Malaysian in T12th position on two-under-par 70 is debutant Sohniya Chandra Mohan. One shot adrift is third-time participant Ng Jing Xuen in T26 after carding in a one-under-par 73, followed by Pang Hee Jie in T32 on even-par 72.

Wang Xin Yao who teed off in the morning closed her first round with a five-over-par 77 to sit in T75, and wrapping up the Malaysian challenge is Charlayne Chong in T79 on six-over-par 78.

The WAAP championship was developed by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to inspire future generations of women golfers. The R&A is supported by championship event partners that share its commitment to developing golf in the Asia-Pacific. The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is proudly supported by Hana Financial Group, ISPS Handa, Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings, Puma, Samsung, Singha, Ricoh and Rolex.

For more information on the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, visit the championship website.

First Round Leading Scores
Top 10 & Ties
67 (-5) Wu Chun-Wei, Navaporn Soontreeyapas, Eila Galitsky
68 (-4) Hinano Muguruma, Pimpisa Rubrong, Avani Prashanth, Amy Im, Zhang Yahui, Justice Bosio
69 (-3) Park Seojin, Foong Zi Yu

 

 

Pang Hee Jie, Ng Jing Xuen, and Foong Zi Yu successfully advance into the weekend of the 6th Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship (WAAP) at Siam Country Club, Thailand.

Currently the best-placed Malaysian in the field, Pang Hee Jie climbs up to T32 spot after carding in another consistent 72 to be on even-par 144. Pang is 12 shots behind first-round joint leader Wu Chun-Wei of Chinese Taipei who added a superb score of seven-under-par 65 to yesterday's 67 and is two shots clear of Japan's Hinano Muguruma on 12-under-par 132.

"A lot of things went well for me out there. My putting helped me a lot, and I managed to recover well from my mistakes by sinking in some birdies. I'm quite satisfied with the result so far," noted the 20-year-old Malaysian who started with a nervy first nine of three-over par, to only return in the second nine with three birdies and zero bogeys.

Delighted to have made it into the top 50 in her maiden appearance, Pang is looking to wrap up the event with an under-par total.
"I feel pumped to make it into the weekend since my initial goal was to make the cut. I'm looking forward to the next two days, and now my new goal is to wrap up the week with an under-par total."

Ng Jing Xuen, who is the lowest-ranked Malaysian women's amateur among the six at No.227 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), carded a second round of two-over-par 74 and is in T41 spot on one-over-par 145. Asked how she felt about her game this week, Ng commented that she wished she had had a better strategy going out there on the Waterside course.

"It was a chaotic day. I think the pin positions were tough and I didn't have a better strategy to place my ball in the right places and ended up in bunkers and other spots so I couldn't make many birdies," said Ng, who will be focusing on her gameplan moving into the weekend.

"Just need to sort out my approach shots and how I'm going to tackle those difficult pin positions - maybe play it safe and make more two putts," she added.

The third Malaysian teeing it up on Saturday and Sunday is Foong Zi Yu who had an unfortunate round of five-under-par 77. Foong traded one birdie against six bogeys to narrowly be on the cutline of two-over-par 146 in T50 position.

Two-time participant Wang Xin Yao (77-74) and debutants Sohniya Chandra Mohan (70-77) and Charlayne Chong (78-76) failed to make the halfway cut.

The WAAP championship was developed by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to inspire future generations of women golfers. The R&A is supported by championship event partners that share its commitment to developing golf in the Asia-Pacific. The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is proudly supported by Hana Financial Group, ISPS Handa, Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings, Puma, Samsung, Singha, Ricoh and Rolex.

For more information on the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, visit the championship website.

Second Round Leading Scores
Top 10 & Ties
132 (-12) Wu Chun-Wei 67-65
134 (-10) Hinano Muguruma 68-66
136 (-8) Pimpisa Rubrong 68-68, Lee Hyosong 70-66
137 (-7) Zhang Yahui 68-69, Avani Prashanth 68-69
138 (-6) Yang Hyojin 73-65, Sriwong Achiraya 70-68, Park Seojin 69-69, Navaporn Soontreeyapas 67-71
 

A hole-in-one propelled Navaporn Soontreeyapas into a share of the lead with fellow Thai and defending champion Eila Galitsky and Chinese Taipei’s Chun-Wei Wu on a thrilling opening day at the sixth Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship.

A member of the gold medal-winning Thai team at last year’s Southeast Asian Games, 18-year-old Soontreeyapas used her pitching wedge to ace the 110-yard 7th hole at Siam Country Club’s (SCC) immaculately presented Waterside Course.

Buoyed by that masterstroke, Soontreeyapas went on to sign for a five-under-par 67 – a score that was matched by Galitsky and Wu.

On a day of low scoring, 11 players in the elite 90-strong field shot rounds in the 60s and no fewer than 31 bettered par at the venue that also hosted the WAAP in 2022.

After overcoming the worst of the conditions in the early afternoon, Galitsky narrowly missed a birdie putt on the 18th that would have given her the outright lead. Nevertheless, she is well placed in her bid to become the first player to win the region’s most prestigious women’s amateur championship on two occasions.

“I’m very pleased. I was bogey-free - I haven't had one of those in a while. A couple of putts could have dropped, but all in all really pleased,” said the 17-year-old.

Other pre-tournament favourites also in red figures heading into Friday’s second round include Indian Avani Prashanth, Rianne Mikhaela Malixi of the Philippines, Korean Minsol Kim, Australian Justice Bosio and Japan’s Mizuki Hashimoto, the 2021 Champion.

But the shot of the day was executed by Soontreeyapas, winner of last year’s Singapore Open Women’s Amateur and currently 177th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®).

“I thought it was impossible, but it actually happened,” said Soontreeyapas of her ace on the shortest of the par-3’s on the course, where she missed the cut in 2022. It was the second hole-in-one of the Thai’s career and the fifth in WAAP history. It was also the second at the SCC’s 7th hole, following Malaysian Jeneath Wong, who achieved the feat in 2022.

For her part, Wu surpassed her expectations, both on and off the course. “I’m happy I played well today, and I’m especially happy with my driver and irons,” said the 19-year-old who started 2024 by finishing sixth in a professional event in her home country and tied-11th in the Australian Amateur to rise to 264th in the WAGR.

Not only did Wu have cause to be happy with her 67, but also with the way she handled her post-round media obligations, answering questions in English, which she’d spent ten minutes practising before facing the cameras. On completing the interview, she cheered and jumped up and down with joy.

The tone for the day’s low scoring was set by the first group out with Thai Pimpisa Rubrong and New Zealander Amy Im both returning four-under-par 68s.

“I felt a little bit nervous because I was the first to tee-off in the first group at 7.30am,” said Rubrong, who had a 4am wake-up call. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she didn’t put a foot wrong from tee to green, draining four birdies. “I hit every green (in regulation), but I missed a lot of birdies, so I only managed four-under.”

China’s Yahui Zhang looked set to emulate Rubrong’s bogey-free round until dropping a shot at the 9th, her final hole of the day. “I’m pretty happy, but I think it's not good enough because I had more chances to make birdies,” she said.

The 68s of Pimpisa, Zhang, Bosio, Im and Japan’s Hinano Muguruma were matched by Prashanth, who was paired alongside Kim and Malixi in the marquee morning group. Kim, fourth in the WAGR, and Malixi (42nd) both signed for 70s to end the day in a share of 12th place.

It was a particularly commendable effort from Prashanth, who displayed courage and mental fortitude to maintain her equilibrium after a confidence-sapping bogey at the par-5 10th – her first hole of the championship, where she sank an eight-foot putt to restrict the damage after three poor shots.

“The way I started on the 10th, I was quite confused about how the day was going to go. I was really happy last night thinking I'm going to tee-off on a par-5. But I duck hooked my drive,” said Prashanth, who was only able to advance her ball 100 yards with her second shot from the rough.

Her travails were not over. She hooked her three-wood third shot into the left fairway bunker from where her escape came up short of the green. “I finally made an up-and-down from 35 yards for bogey. Not how I wanted to start. After the first three shots I told myself that the championship isn't won on the first hole. You have 71 more to go.

“Then I took control of my round and, thankfully, I started making some putts,” added Prashanth, who was inspired by the quality of golf of her playing partners. “The standard of golf was amazing. They both started with two birdies and they pushed me. There was some great golf out there.”

The winner of this week’s WAAP will receive exemptions into three major championships in 2024 - the AIG Women’s Open at St Andrews, the Amundi Evian Championship in France and the Chevron Championship in the United States of America.

The winner will also receive invitations to a handful of other elite championships such as the Hana Financial Group Championship, ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open, The 121st Women’s Amateur Championship and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

This week’s starting line-up consists of 90 players representing 22 countries and territories. Among them are ten of the top-50 and 21 of the top-100 in the latest WAGR standings.

In the first five editions of the WAAP, players from Thailand (Atthaya Thitikul and Galitsky), Japan (Yuka Yasuda and Hashimoto) and Chinese Taipei (Ting-Hsuan Huang) have held aloft the sought-after trophy.

The WAAP championship was developed by The R&A and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) to inspire future generations of women golfers. The R&A is supported by championship event partners that share its commitment to developing golf in the Asia-Pacific. The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is proudly supported by Hana Financial Group, ISPS Handa, Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings, Puma, Samsung, Singha, Ricoh and Rolex.

For more information on the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, visit the championship website.

First Round Leading Scores
Top 10 & Ties
67 (-5) Wu Chun-Wei, Navaporn Soontreeyapas, Eila Galitsky
68 (-4) Hinano Muguruma, Pimpisa Rubrong, Avani Prashanth, Amy Im, Zhang Yahui, Justice Bosio
69 (-3) Park Seojin, Foong Zi Yu

 

 

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