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On Other Tours: P.K. Kongkraphan wins on Symetra Tour

P.K. Kongkraphan sang songs of joy after defeating Michelle Shin on the third playoff hole to claim her first Symetra Tour victory at the Northeast Delta Dental International.

The Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand native serenaded the large crowd gathered around the 18th green at Beaver Meadow Golf Course, just after she fired a 1-under 71 en route to the victory.

Kongkraphan entered the day with a 2-stroke lead over Kim Kaufman and Christine Song but relied heavily on her wedges during the round that included three birdies and two bogies.

“I didn’t make a putt,” said Kongkraphan who recorded 29 putts during the final round. “Today I missed many tee shots and the approaches weren’t that well but I made my wedge shots.”

Shin seemingly came out of nowhere on Sunday as she entered the final-round in a tie for eighth and trailing Kongraphan by 4-strokes. The Wake Forest University graduate would quickly make-up those strokes however as she recorded six birdies and one bogey en route to a 5-under 67.

“I was hitting greens and I was sticking them close enough to have not exactly a tap-in but they were pretty easy to go in. It was just all about making those opportunities and I was just converting them all. My putting was on today so it helped.”

Shin was the first to post 9-under for the tournament, applying the pressure on Kongkraphan to make a par on the final hole to force a playoff. Currently in her third year on the Symetra Tour, Kongkraphan hit her approach shot right of the green on 18, but was able to drain a testy 5-foot par putt for the fifth playoff of the season.

The duo made their way to the par-4 18th for the first playoff hole and after both players found the fairway, they hit their approach shots to within 5-feet of the hole. Shin was the first to play and after both players lipped-out their birdie putts, they made their way back to the 18th.

“I should have made the putt,” said Shin with a bit of a laugh, “it was a slider”.

Much like the movie Groundhog Day, both players would again find the fairway and hit their approaches to 4-feet. After Kongkraphan lipped-out her birdie putt, Shin would do the same and the duo headed back to 18 once again.

The third-time would prove to be the charm as Kongkraphan found the fairway while Shin pushed her drive in the right rough. Shin was first to play and hit her approach to 18-feet while Kongkraphan hit a 54 degree wedge from 105 yards to within 9-feet.

Shin was unable to convert her birdie putt and after attempting to hole her par putt, lipped it out forcing her to settle with a bogey. Kongkraphan then missed her birdie putt but was able to tap-in for par and the victory.

“I feel glad today, I’m very happy,” said Kongkraphan. “I was more comfortable on the course, I was a little bit nervous because it was my first-time in the leader group and I was the leader. Michelle Shin, she’s a great player and I’m so happy.”

Topics: On Other Tours, Symetra Tour

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