Pang braves fatigue to win in Singapore, Hitaashee third

Pang Runzhi - TheGolfingHub
Pang Runzhi survived a tense closing stretch where she dropped two shots in her last five holes but her final round even-par 72 was just enough to seal victory. Photo: Singapore Ladies Masters

China’s Pang Runzhi braved the heat, humidity and fatigue to win the second edition of the Singapore Ladies Masters by a single shot over compatriot Cai Danlin at the Laguna National Golf Resort Club.

Related: Hitaashee Bakshi survives stern test at Singapore Ladies Masters

The 17-year-old survived a tense closing stretch where she dropped two shots in her last five holes but her final round even-par 72 was just enough to seal victory at the China Ladies Professional Golf Association (CLPGA) sanctioned event, which is also the only tournament on China’s premier women’s golf circuit held outside China in their 2024 season

After having play disrupted by multiple weather suspensions in the first two rounds, sunny skies greeted all players on Sunday.  83 players returned to complete their second round as they continued their battle for a place in the third and final round, where the cut stood at eight-over.

Pang stormed back with four straight birdies in the morning after playing only three holes on Saturday. She then traded a double-bogey, bogey and three birdies for a 66.  The 17-year-old rookie, who came through the CLPGA Qualifying School in February, was back on the tee about two hours later for the shotgun start to the final round.

She reached the turn in 36 after mixing a birdie and bogey on the third and seventh hole respectively. After reeling in two more birdies on holes 10 and 12, fatigue began to set in for Pang where she bogeyed holes 14 and 17.

But the Tianjin native, who has enjoyed three top-15 finishes in her last three starts, stayed focused to sink a par on the closing 18 to sign off with a winning three-day total of seven-under-par 209.

“I played 33 holes today and it was mentally and physically exhausting. But I took it all in my stride and I’m really happy I managed to get my breakthrough in just my fourth start on the CLPGA,” said Pang.

A visibly disappointed Cai, who led the first and second round, missed the chance to force a playoff after missing a birdie putt from 12 feet and also conceded she was tired after playing 32 holes.

“I could not hit my shots as far as I wanted to towards the end of the round as it was a very long and tiring day. But congratulations to Pang for being a worthy champion,” said the 21-year-old.

India’s Hitaashee Bakshi finished in outright third place after signing off with a 71 while Malaysia’s Jocelyn Chee together with the Thai trio of Chonlada Chayanun, Patcharajutar Kongkraphan and Kultida Pramphun shared fourth place with their identical 213 total.