Wei-Ling Hsu had nerves of steel during Sunday’s final-round and fired a 4-under 67 to win the Credit Union Challenge at 11-under-par.
The Chinese Taipei native recorded five birdies and one bogey and needed only 29 putts during Sunday’s final round to cruise to the victory and become the third Symetra Tour rookie to win on Tour this season.
Hsu began Sunday trailing second-round leader Olivia Jordan-Higgins by 3-strokes but slipped further behind after a bogey at the par-4 third. She was then able to recover with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 8 and 9 but after a quick glance at the eye catching leaderboard nestled on No. 9, quickly feared she was too far behind to catch-up.
“On the front-nine I saw a leaderboard and saw that someone was 10 or 11-under,” said Hsu. “When I made it to the ninth hole I was 7-under so I thought maybe I don’t have a chance.
After doubts began to flood Hsu’s thoughts, she recorded four consecutive pars beginning at the par-5 10th before making back-to-back birdies at Nos. 14 and 15.
It wasn’t until Kendall Dye made a bogey at the par-3 16th and Hsu made par, that the Symetra Tour rookie would find herself tied for the lead.
“I thought I had a chance on the par-4 14th because I made a birdie there and on 15,” said Hsu. “Then I saw a leaderboard and saw the leader was at 11-under but when I made birdie, I saw the leader make a bogey.”
With her dad on the bag this week, Hsu headed into the par-4 17th with the hope of avoiding the recent trend of playoffs that have occurred during this year’s Road to the LPGA.
“I just told my dad we have three holes to finish because every tournament has had a playoff. I told my dad that I don’t want a playoff because I will be very, very, very nervous. I hoped on 17 and 18 that I could make a birdie.”
Hsu did just what she set out to do as she birdied the par-4 17th while Dye took an untimely 3-putt double-bogey to grab ahold of the solo lead.
“I fell asleep back there,” said Dye. “I don’t want to say I threw-up all over myself because I played really steady the first three days, especially for not having 100% healthy.”
After taking over the lead, Hsu never looked back and safely made par on the par-3 18th hole to take home a 2-stroke victory over Dye and Jordan-Higgins, and improve on a season-best tied for sixth finish.
The tied for second finish would serve as Jordan-Higgins’ second consecutive time coming up just shy of taking home the title at the Credit Union Challenge. While the Jersey, Channel Island, UK native began the day with the lead, a cold putter would leave Jordan-Higgins just shy of her first Symetra Tour victory.“I did not hole a single putt outside of four-feet,” said Jordan-Higgins. “It was just a rough day and very frustrating more than anything.”