Phatlum defends title at Indian Open

February 27th, 2009 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, Feb 27 (IANS) Thailand’s top woman golfer Pornanong Phatlum defended her DLF Women’s Indian Open title after carding a four-under 68 on the final day at the DLF Golf and Country Club here Friday.
Phatlum, 19, from Chiangrai in north Thailand, finished the three-round event with an eight-under 208 total - two strokes better than South Korean Kim Hae-jung who bagged a second runner-up prize inside two weeks.

In third place was another Thai player Titiya Plucksataporn, who shot a three-over 75 for her 219 total, while five other players - Joo Mi-ri of South Korea, Caire Choi of Australia, Li Wen-Lin of Chinese Taipei, Tandi Cunningham of South Afrca and Thai Nontaya - are on tied fourth place with total scores of 220.

Phatlum said: “For me it was like playing a social game as Kim was in the same group with me from day one of the tournament and Nontaya my good friend and also lives in the neighbouring city of Chiangmai. The three of us in the group had lots of fun and we kept talking today as if we were playing a social game.”

Phatlum gave a quick hint of her attempt to defend the title when she birdied the first hole and that advantage was erased at the fifth when she dropped one. However, she steadied herself and went on to make four more birdies on eighth, 10th, 15th and 17th.

Among Indians, 19-year-old Nalini Singh Siwach finished tied 11th place with a total of six-over 224. One shot behind her was the best amateur Gauri Monga, just 15 years of age. While Nalini shot 76, 73 and 73, Gauri shot 77, 72 and 74. Simi Mehra was tied 26th with rounds of 76 on each of the three days.

Nalini, who got a Hero Honda Scooty for her finish as the best Indian, said: “This is my best international result and will help me further. I want to work harder and make a mark on the professional circuit.”

Gauri showed maturity beyond her age during the last three days. Next month she will become the first Indian girl to play in the Faldo series Asia at Mission Hills.

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