Thai Wannasiri Sirisampant marked her first stint on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour in style, uncorking a scorching windup for a solid 66 and winning the P500,000 Manila Southwoods Ladies Classic by six over Chihiro Ikeda at the Southwoods’ Legends course in Carmona, Cavite on Thursday.
Saving her best for last, Sirisampant birdied four of the last six holes and turned what was expected to be a down-to-the-wire finish into a runaway victory as Ikeda and the rest of her pursuers, including second day leader Yuka Saso, hobbled with over par scores and faded out of the title race in the final leg of the eight-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Tied with Ikeda, Korean amateur Hwang Min Jeong and compatriot Saraporn Chamchoi at second after 36 holes, Sirisampant surged ahead with a one-birdie stint at the front and watched her rivals fall off the leaderboard with bogey-riddled starts.
Ikeda actually stayed within two with a birdie on No. 11, but Sirisampant birdied Nos. 13 and 14, holed out with routine pars in the next two before capping her bogey-free round with back-to-back birdies to spike her runaway victory on her very first try in the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
She wound up with a 10-under 203 aggregate and took the top P100,000 as she became the second Thai to win on the tour this year after Meechai Wichanee likewise routed the field to reign at ICTSI Splendido last April.
“My irons clicked and made the most of my birdie chances,” said Sirisampant, after nailing her second win in a five-year pro career. The lanky 24-year-old shotmaker from Nakhonnayok scored her maiden win in Thailand Singha Championship in 2012.
Ikeda tied Saso for the lead with a birdie on the opening hole but dropped three shots in a five-hole stretch from No. 3 to fall behind again. She canned in a six-footer for birdie on No. 11 but failed to match Sirisampant’s fiery finish, ending up with a 72 for second at 209 worth P70,000 in the event backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.
Jayvie Agojo tried to rally from five strokes down with three birdies in the first 10 holes but missed a couple of birdie putts in the closing holes and settled for a 68 and joint third at 210 with first round leader Mookharin Ladgratok, also of Thailand, who rallied with a 69, and ICTSI Mt. Malarayat winner Hwang, who limped with a 73.
Saso, who showed a lot of promise when she surged ahead of the pack with a 69 and 67, cracked under pressure, bogeying the par-3 7th and holing out with a disastrous triple bogey on No. 8. The amateur club bet tried to rebound with birdies on Nos. 11 and 14 but hit a wayward shot on No. 17 and made a double bogey for a 75 and a 211.
Other two-under par overall scorers were Sarah Ababa, the ICTSI Sherwood leg champion who also fumbled with a 74, the same output put in by Chamchoi, while Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang, also of Thailand, shot a 69 and shared ninth place at 213 with Apple Fudolin, who carded a 73.