Sunday, November 23, 2014





Xiamen, China: Top Chinese Taipei amateur Cheng Ssu-Chia, 17, won the inaugural Xiamen Open on her Ladies European Tour debut when she fired a final round 68 in hot and sunny conditions at Orient (Xiamen) Golf and Country Club in China today.

Cheng, pictured, made a par on the last hole for a 54-hole total of 10 under par and a three-stroke victory over French professional Marion Ricordeau, who earned the €37,500 first prize cheque due to Cheng’s amateur status.

Chen said that she was nervous, but she looked calm and confident throughout the tournament before she collected her fourth professional victory, as she already had three titles on the Taiwan LPGA Tour.

“Actually I was pretty nervous today in my heart, inside myself. For the last part my heart was like, ‘boom, boom, boom,’ so I tried to stay calm,” she said. 
It’s the first time I’ve played in a Ladies European Tour tournament so I feel it was a challenge to myself and made me play well. I did not have high expectations entering this week. I thought it would be a great result if I finished in the top 10.”

She rated her Xiamen Open win as the finest moment of her already successful career, having earned the silver medal at the Youth Olympics and Asian Games in 2014.

She said: “I am excited that I finally won because LET players are very competitive. So far it’s my largest win. I played great this week. I should thank Orient Golf and CLPGA for the invitation extended to me.”

Cheng became the sixth amateur to win on the Ladies European Tour and the fourth to win on the China LPGA, as the tournament was co-sanctioned. 
The last amateur to win on the LET was Lydia Ko at the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open in February 2013.

Although she could potentially turn professional and join the Ladies European Tour within the next 14 days, teenager Cheng said that she planned to stay amateur for one more year as she wants to finish her high school studies.

My plan is to turn pro next year. At that time I will try to qualify for US LPGA Tour and follow Yani Tseng’s footprint. She is my idol,” she said.

Having held a three-way share of the lead overnight, Cheng took control of the tournament from the first hole, which she birdied to move one ahead of the field. She then birdied the third and fourth holes to go three strokes clear.
 Her only mistake was on the sixth green, where she three-putted, but she recovered by making short birdie putts on nine and ten before coming in with eight pars on the back nine.

The World No. 22 female amateur, Cheng is one of the most exciting young players in golf and China LPGA Chairman TK Penn presented her with a cake on the 18th green to celebrate her achievement.

After a final round of 69 for a seven under par total, Ricordeau was even more delighted with her career best result of second and she said: “I wasn’t nervous the first two rounds but I was today and I didn’t play really well the first nine holes.
" I didn’t hit it well and my contacts were poor but something changed on the course when I realised I was on the leader board. I thought, ‘there’s a chance you can do something, so do something and go for it!’ 
"I played better on the back nine and holed some putts. I knew I was playing better than the last few months but I didn’t know anything about playing conditions China. I’d never been to China before so I was a little bit worried about this big trip. I worked well so I’m really happy.”

Fellow Frenchwoman Alexandra Vilatte and Falkirk-based Beth Allen of the United States shared third place on six under par, while a stroke further back in joint fifth were England’s Liz Young, Joanna Klatten of France and China’s Lin Xi Yu, winner of the previous week’s Sanya Ladies Open.

Australian Sarah Kemp ended in eighth spot after a 68, while Lin Tzu Chi of Chinese Taipei and Musselburgh’s Vikki Laing shared ninth. 
Vikki earned 5,925 euros for a solid performance.

England’s Charley Hull had a final round of 72 to end in share of 11th place with five other players including second round co-leaders Connie Chen of South Africa and Chloe Leurquin from Belgium.

Par 216 (3x72)
206 Ssu-Chia Cheng (TPE) (am) 70 68 68

209 Marion Ricordeau (FRA)  72 68 69

210 Alexandra Vilatte (FRA)  70 70 70, Beth Allen (USA)  69 71 70

211 Liz Young (ENG)  69 71 71, Xi Yu Lin (CHN)  71 70 70, Joanna Klatten (FRA)  72 68 71

212 Sarah Kemp (AUS)  72 72 68

213 Tzu Chi Lin (TPE)  74 69 70, Vikki Laing (SCO)  72 67 74 (5,925 euros each)

214 Titiya Plucksataporn (THA)  72 69 73, Charley Hull (ENG)  73 69 72, Maria Hernandez (ESP)  71 72 71, Connie Chen (RSA)  68 70 76, Chloe Leurquin (BEL)  70 68 76, Cassandra Kirkland (FRA)  72 73 69

215 Wichanee Meechai (THA)  71 76 68, Pamela Pretswell (SCO)  72 72 71, Yu Ting Shi (CHN)  71 73 71, Pei-Yun Chien (TPE)  76 69 70, Sahra Hassan (WAL)  72 74 69, Li Qing Chen (CHN)  70 72 73, Nikki Garrett (AUS)  69 70 76 (3,321 euros each)

216 Meng-Chu Chen (TPE)  71 72 73, Stacy Lee Bregman (RSA)  75 72 69, Lydia Hall (WAL)  75 71 70

217 Valentine Derrey (FRA)  75 72 70, Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro (THA)  72 73 72, Minea Blomqvist (FIN)  70 70 77, Michelle Koh (MYS)  75 68 74, Becky Brewerton (WAL)  72 75 70

218 Becky Morgan (WAL)  71 71 76, Malene Jorgensen (DEN)  72 72 74, Florentyna Parker (ENG)  73 72 73, Tiranan Yoopan (THA)  72 70 76, Jade Schaeffer (FRA)  71 70 77, Jienalin Zhang (CHN)  75 69 74, Caroline Martens (NOR)  70 71 77, Ashleigh Simon (RSA)  71 73 74

219 Aunchisa Utama (THA)  75 71 73, Qi Feng Xiao (CHN)  73 74 72, Rebecca Artis (AUS)  71 70 78, Maha Haddioui (MAR)  76 69 74, Pan Pan Yan (CHN)  72 72 75, Kylie Walker (SCO)  71 73 75, Eleanor Givens (ENG)  74 73 72 (1,646 euros each)

220 Saraporn Chamchoi (THA)  74 70 76, Aretha Pan (MYS)  73 73 74, Rungthiwa Pangjan (THA)  74 75 71, Gwladys Nocera (FRA)  72 75 73

221 Ann-Kathrin Lindner (GER)  73 73 75, Caroline Afonso (FRA)  75 70 76, Nikki Campbell (AUS)  75 74 72, Noora Tamminen (FIN)  69 77 75, Hong Tian (CHN)  74 73 74, Hannah Burke (ENG)  72 73 76, Whitney Hillier (AUS)  74 73 74

222 Ursula Wikstrom (FIN)  74 70 78, Kusuma Meechai (THA)  76 71 75, Stephanie Na (AUS)  71 76 75

223 Louise Larsson (SWE)  74 75 74

224 Dan Li (CHN)  79 70 75, Holly Aitchison (ENG)  76 73 75, Klara Spilkova (CZE)  72 76 76

228 Hsuan-Ping Chang (TPE)  77 72 79

229 Alison Whitaker (AUS)  77 72 80, Mireia Prat (ESP)  73 75 81