Thai pips local rival to clinch golf title by a stroke

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2006, 12:00am

Thai teenager Thanachot Tandavas edged out his rivals to capture the Macgregor Hong Kong Junior Open Championship at Discovery Bay Golf Club last weekend.

The 16-year-old from Bangkok struggled in the rain and wind during the final round, but managed to hold off the chasing pack, including Hong Kong's Steven Lam Tsz-fung, to win by one stroke.

Tandavas had a combined score of 153 for the two-day event.

Steven, 13, began the tournament in excellent form with a score of 74 and was placed second going into the final round. But the local sensation admitted that rain on the second day had affected his game.

'I found it tough to focus, particularly on the back nine, because of the weather,' said Steven, a From Two student at St Joseph's College

'There were moments when the rain was so incredibly heavy that it just made it really tough out there. I'm a little bit disappointed but overall quite happy that I had a good opening round,' said Steven, who finished on 154 (74-80).

In the girls' division, pre-tournament favourite Kristina Wong from the United States romped to an easy victory, finishing seven shots ahead of Thailand's Jaruporn Palakwong. Kristina, 15, carded rounds of 74 and 73.

She is attending the prestigious IMG David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida and in the past year has notched up 10 top-10 finishes, including three wins, at various events in the US.

In June she was invited to participate in her first LPGA event at the Corning Classic in New York, playing alongside professionals, such as Se Ri Pak, Morgan Pressel and Birdie Kim.

Hong Kong's top performer in the girls' category was Lyra Yoe Hoi-yan, who finished in ninth place with a combined score of 166 (80-86).