South Korea's Suh posts wire-to-wire in Wuhan

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Suh Bo-mi captured her first win in six years on the strength of a wire-to-wire victory at the Wuhan Challenge in Hubei province on Sunday.

The South Korean veteran closed with a final-round 70 for a score of 8-under 208 at the China LPGA Tour event, two strokes better than defending champion Pavarisa Yoktuan (69) of Thailand. The victory was worth RMB90,000.

Chinese amateur Sui Xiang was third as the 16-year-old carded a 70 to finish three shots off the pace, while Thailand's Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (70) was fourth, two shots further back. Luo Ying (72), another Chinese amateur, was equal fifth with Thailand's Budsabakorn Sukapan (75).

Following a one-hour rain delay in the morning, the 22-year-old Pavarisa took advantage of the soft conditions to get to eight-under and a two-stroke lead through 12 holes. Playing partner Suh, who went into the final round with a one-stroke lead, could only muster an even-par round through 13 holes.

The 14th hole proved the turning point as Suh scored a birdie two at the par three, while Pavarisa bogeyed for a two-shot swing to deadlock the score. At the next hole, Suh carded a birdie three for one-stroke lead. As Suh played par golf on her final three holes, Pavarisa faltered to a bogey six at the par-five 17th to fall out of contention.

Suh admitted that she was a bit rattled when Pavarisa came out firing on the front nine as the rain stopped and the weather turned to sunshine.

"I did feel nervous on the front holes. Pavarisa had two birdies in a row (at the second and third holes) to get close to me. When she was one stroke ahead I wanted to save par and keep steady. Of course, if I have chance to get a birdie I will not allow myself to miss it. For me being the champion I'm not that confident just luckier than Pavarisa."

The 34-year-old Suh, whose last win came in 2009 at the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour, said she was ready to retire if her play did not improve.

"But because of this championship, it has given me many reasons to try hard and keep going on the golf road. I think I will try my best to do better from now on," she said.

Pavarisa, who will compete in the second stage of US LPGA Tour qualifying school next month in Florida, called her late-round collapse a learning experience.

"Although I didn't win I did try my best. There is no regret this week," said the Nakhon Si Thammarat native. "Suh is a very good player and strong enough to win. Congratulations to her."

Amateur Sui had mixed feelings about her final round that included three birdies and a bogey five.

"I'm satisfied with my performance today. I did what I had planned yesterday," said the Guangdong teenager. "I played solid except at hole 14, the longest par three. I hit a five-wood 180 yards, about two yards left of the hole, and missed the short putt. It's the only the part of my round that left me feeling uncomfortable."

The China LPGA Tour now takes a three-week break and returns September 24-26 for the CTBC Ladies Open.

Wuhan Challenge third round leading scores (China unless stated, * denotes amateur)

208 - Suh Bo-mi (South Korea) 66-72-70

210 - Pavarisa Yoktuan (Thailand) 70-71-69

211 - Sui Xiang* 72-69-70

213 - Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (Thailand) 71-72-70

214 - Luo Ying* 70-72-72, Budsabakorn Sukapan (Thailand) 72-67-75

216 - Zhang Weiwei 72-75-69, Nattagate Nimitpongkul 74-71-71, Shi Yuting 68-76-72, Wannasiri Sirisampant (Thailand) 69-73-74

217 - Yan Panpan 75-71-71, Wichanee Meechai (Thailand) 69-77-71, Zhang Yuyang 73-75-69, Chen Liqing 72-73-72, Chang Hsuan-ping (Chinese Taipei) 69-75-73, Punpaka Phuntumabamrung (Thailand) 73-70-74

218 - Tanaporn Kongkiatkrai (Thailand) 74-72-72 Ye Liying 73-73-72, Chen Min-jou* (Chinese Taipei) 75-71-72,

219 - Yeh Hsin-ning (Chinese Taipei) 69-77-73, Saraporn Chamchoi (Thailand) 72-74-73

220 - Lu Yuexia 70-77-73, Janya Morrakotpan (Thailand) 72-76-72, Jang So-young (South Korea) 75-72-73

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