Golfer Sun Jiaze shines in the CTBC Ladies Classic victory in Zhuhai
Published: Sep 04, 2022 06:14 PM
Sun Jiaze wins the CTBC Ladies Classic in Zhuhai, China on September 2, 2o22. Photo: Courtesy of CLPGA

Sun Jiaze wins the CTBC Ladies Classic in Zhuhai, China on September 2, 2o22. Photo: Courtesy of CLPGA

Sun Jiaze captured her maiden win in style on Friday when the second-year pro went wire-to-wire to win the CTBC Ladies Classic by three strokes in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, according to a report by the China Ladies Professional Golfers' Association (CLPGA). 

The 20-year-old Beijing native closed with a two-under 70 at Lakewood Golf Club for a 54-hole score of seven-under 209. The win was worth 52,500 yuan ($7,609), it said.

Zhang Yahui, the defending champion, capped off a solid week when the 16-year-old closed with an even-par 72 to finish runner-up. Pros Xue Zixuan (72) and Zhang Yunjie (73) were equal third, seven strokes off the pace.

Sun, who was runner-up to amateur Ni Ziqin (72) two weeks ago at the Golf Liquor Challenge in Nanshan, started the day with a one-shot lead ahead of Han Yucen (78) and Zhang Yahui. With four birdies through the first eight holes, she made the turn at four-under 32 to pull away from the pack and then dropped her only shots of the day with bogeys at the 15th hole and the last, said the report. 

"I didn't expect for a win to come so soon. This is a special birthday present," said Sun.

"At the fourth hole I made a birdie from 20 yards and that proved a particularly key moment. From there on, things got better and better. I think I did have luck today. On the back nine, I chose a conservative strategy and achieved the desired results. To tell the truth, as soon as I teed off I was in a very good state, which was unexpected." 

Zhang, who won 2021's tournament in a playoff when it was contested as the CTBC Zhuhai Challenge, got to seven-under when she made birdie at the 356-yard 12th hole. She then found trouble at the next with a double-bogey seven at the 538-yard hole to drop out of contention. The teenager finished her Zhuhai defense with a bogey five at the 401-yard last, the report said.

"To be able to defend the title successfully, this was my goal this week. Every shot I played very aggressively. I knew that if I succeeded in defending the title this year it would be a new CLPGA Tour record," said the Wuhan native.

"The physical ability has been a very big test this week. Today, the overall performance is not bad, but after shooting two-over on the 13th hole my attention and accuracy began to decline. There will be some regrets this week, but I hope my score will improve every year. I played six-under last year but only four-under this year," said Zhang.