New rule helps get Korea over the line

Korea was forced to invoke a new rule to snatch the 40th Queen Sirikit Cup from Thailand by the slimmest of margins.

Both teams finished tied after three days on 417 – 15 under the card, after a topsy-turvy tournament.

The Koreans were able to claim victory only by using a rule recently approved by the Team Captains’ meeting to count the third player’s score in case of ties. This meant that Korea’s third player – Heejeong Lim – was critical in the victory after shooting 72 while Thailand’s third player – Natthakritta Vongtaveelap – could manage only a 73.

The Koreans thus effectively collected their 20th Queen Sirikit Cup by just one shot.

Japan finished third with an aggregate of 418, just one shot out of the tie.

Korea, the defending champions, led the opening round with two combined scores of 138, narrowly heading by a shot the Japanese and Chinese.

The Philippines remained well in the hunt on 141.

The individual stars on the first day were Japan’s Yuna Nishimura, who fired a 67, and Indian Diksha Dagar, who managed a 68. Ten players broke par on day one.

The Philippines edged to the top of the leader board in the second round, thanks to a brilliant 66 by Yuka Saso. They finished the day on 277, one ahead of Japan while Korea and Thailand shared third spot a further shot back at 279.

Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul, winner of the inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship in February, scorched around the course in seven under par 65 to lift her team from sixth to third.

The Koreans fought back strongly on the final day though to match Thailand, again boosted by Thitikul who signed for a 67.

Overall, Thitikul won the individual title with a total of 203 – 71-65-67, ahead of Nishimura on 206 (67-69-70) and Saso on 207 (69-66-72).

The 41st Asia-Pacific Ladies Golf Team championship for the Queen Sirikit Cup will be staged at Glenelg Golf Club in Adelaide, South Australia from next June 7-9.

 

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