JAKARTA, Oct 20, 2012: They call Kongkrapan Patcharachuta the "spice girl" on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour - an active character always smiling and joking around with golfers during competitions.
The 20-year-old Thai lass showed that jokes and golf mix well when she clinched the Enjoy Jakarta Ladies Indonesian Open by three strokes over Chinese Taipei's Hsieh Yu Ling at the Palm Hill Golf Club.
Both Patcharachuta and Hsieh shot the final round's lowest score of 4-under 68. The "spice girl" finished with a three-round total of 209 while Hsieh a passive character finished on 212.
Emerging golfer Kelly Tan of Malaysia who led by one stroke going into the final round and playing on amateur status finished sole third with a 214 total. She also led other amateurs Dottie Ardina of the Philippines (joint fourth) and another Malaysian Michelle Koh (sole seventh) to stael the show here.
Patcharachuta who prior to this had three top 10 finishes on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour events, picked up strokes at the first, third, fourth, seventh and 15th holes but dropped one at the 18th.
"I played really good. I did not bother about how I'm going to play but all I was interested was how I'm going to win. So, I played a little aggressive. I like to enjoy golf both on and off the course - like Cristina Kim of the US who plays on the USLPGA. I love fun, it keeps me cool and takes whatever pressure off me. Joking around is part of my golfing recipe," she said.
She said it was good that the greens here are small. "So, you need good judgement and accuracy and I did just that.
Hsieh, a three-times winner on the Taiwan LPGA said this was her best finish on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour. "I equalled my own record when I finished second also in Bangkok two years ago," she said.
Tan, said she played well but could not hold on to the lead."Had a started with a birdie or two it could have spurred me to go for the title and perhaps apply a little aggression to my game. But when I dropped a shot, I switched to caution."
Pocketing the US$30,000 is the biggest pay cheque for Patcharachuta but she had not decided how to how to spend it. "I'm going to enjoy drinking wine," she said.
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Leading scores - final round scores
209: Kongkrapan Patcharachuta 71-70-68
212: Hsieh Yu Ling (Tpe) 71-73-68
214: Kelly Tan - Am - (Mas) 71-69-74
215: Meechai Kusuma (Tha) 73-73-69; Connie Chen (SA) 74-69-72; Dottie Ardina - am - (Phi) 72-72-71
216: Michelle Koh - Am - (Mas) 75-68-73
217: Satarak Wailalak (USA) 71-74-72; Numa Gulyanamitta (Tha) 74-71-72; Smriti Mehra (Ind) 69-72-76
219: Thidapa Suwwanapura (Tha) 71-78-70; Hudson Rebecca (Eng) 76-73-70; Jaruporn Palakawong 72-75-72
220: Stacey Keating (Aus) 76-75-69; Tripathi Nera (Ind) 75-73-72; Hassan Sahra (Wal) 73-74-73; Tavee Tiffany 75-72-73; Ainil Johani Abu Bakar (Mas) 75-72-73; Titiya Plucksataporn (Tha) 74-71-75