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Korean rallies, nips Del Rosario in playoff

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South Korea’s Euna Koh birdied the first playoff hole from four feet to complete a five-shot rally to win the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Challenge title at the Luisita Golf and Country Club yesterday.

Koh shot an even par 72 in the third and final round of the 54-hole tournament to catch local bet Pauline del Rosario at the end of regulation after the Filipina rookie pro shot a five-over-par 77.

Korean Euna Koh hoists her trophy after her playoff win over Pauline del Rosario in the ICTSI Luisita Challenge.

Korean Euna Koh hoists her trophy after her playoff win over Pauline del Rosario in the ICTSI Luisita Challenge.

Koh posted a three-day total of 222, six over par for the tournament, the same aggregate submitted by Del Rosario.

Koh appeared headed for victory after posting a two-shot lead with three holes to go. But a two-shot swing on the 16th in which Del Rosario birdied and Koh bogeyed tied the two golfers going to the last two holes. Both parred the 17th and 18th to force the playoff which started at the 18th.

Koh, 18, another promising product from South Korea’s assembly line of young golfers, was not to be denied. She hit a wedge shot from 120 yards to within four feet and made the putt. Del Rosario also had a birdie putt, but missed from eight feet.

“I was shaking because I’m hungry but I was happy to have pulled it off,” said Koh who has been living for years in the Philippines and is a member of Riviera Golf Club’s women’s team. She took home the top prize of P250,000.

It was a sorry setback for the 17-year-old Del Rosario, who was aiming for her first professional win after a stellar career as an amateur.

Del Rosario, playing in her third pro tournament, surged to a four-stroke lead over Thai Numa Gulyanamitta and five clear of Koh after the second round.

Gulyanamitta shot a 76 and tied for third with Nemittra Juntanaket who had a 75.

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