Pavarisa getst first China LPGA Tour win

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Pavarisa Yoktuan claimed her maiden international victory on Saturday when the rising Thai star captured the 500,000-yuan Wuhan Challenge for her first China LPGA Tour win.

The 21-year-old closed with a final round 69 at Orient Wuhan for a score of 6-under 210 and a three-shot victory that earned her 75,000 yuan. Compatriot Ajira Nualraksa (69) was the runner-up as Thais dominated the leader board throughout the tournament in the Hubei capital.

"I'm so proud of myself now. Today I can do everything I was thinking about. Wherever I aim I could hit it where I wanted to," said Pavarisa who earned her second victory of the year after winning a tournament on the Singha-Sat Thai LPGA domestic tour in April.

"I had two bogeys, but its fine. I didn't disappoint (myself), so don't worry about it too much."

Going into the final round with a one-stroke lead, Pavarisa carded three birdies in her opening nine, shots that she would need to secure the win. With a hard-charging Ajira registering two eagle threes, she couldn't get close enough to Pavarisa as her round also included five birdies offset by five bogeys.

"I knew someone was playing well, but I didn't know how well. I just kept calm and played my game," said Pavarisa, a native of Nakhon Si Thammarat in southwest Thailand. "I think I will now go and try and qualify for the US LPGA Tour later this year."

Chinese veteran Ye Liying finished third after shooting a 67, the low round of the week at four shots back, while Thailand's Tanaporn Kongkiatkrai (71) was a shot further back. China's Luo Ying (74) was the top amateur in equal 11th, 13 shots off the pace.

Runner-up Ajira said she was ecstatic with her round, despite too many bogeys taking away from her double eagle performance.

"It was an up-and-down performance, just five pars. The first eagle at nine, I took two shot onto the green on the right and the pin was left and I made a 13-foot putt. At the 12th hole, because the pin was at the front, I was just off the green and I made an eight-foot putt," said Ajira, the first round leader.

"This is my first time making two eagles in a round. I'm surprised too."

The tour now moves to Shandong province for the Kumho Tires Ladies Open starting Friday. The championship is a co-sanctioned event with the LPGA of Korea Tour.

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