Chinese Taipei’s Chun-Wei Wu survived a tense final round to pull off the biggest upset in Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship history.
A modest 264th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), the 19-year-old endured moments of high stress before completing a wire-to-wire success at Siam Country Club’s (SCC) Waterside Course, upstaging a star-studded line-up.
Struggling to find the free-wheeling form she displayed over the first three days, Wu closed with a nervous even-par 72 to secure a victory that will catapult her into the global spotlight in 2024.
After feasting on birdies for the first three days, it proved tough going for Wu to get over the finish line.
Four shots clear of the field following the opening 54 holes – during which she dropped only one stroke – Wu wobbled with four bogeys on a final day rollercoaster ride.
With her lead reduced to a single stroke after 14 holes of the final round, Wu displayed her mettle, digging deep to make crucial birdies at the 15th and 17th, where she began celebrating even before her 28-footer reached its intended target.
Delight for Wu
“Incredible! This is the first time I’ve won a big tournament,” said Wu, whose 72-hole aggregate of 18-under-par 270 was two strokes clear of runner-up Hyosong Lee, the 15-year-old Korean.
Achiraya Sriwong was a further stroke back in third after a 66, the best round of the final day, with fellow Thai Pimpisa Rubrong, fourth on 14-under-par 274. Rianne Mikhaela Malixi of the Philippines and Korean Minsol Kim ended joint fifth on 13-under-par.
As well as bettering the previous best WAAP winning total of 272 set by Mizuki Hashimoto at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in 2021, Wu is only the second champion to lead on all four days, following Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul in Singapore in 2018. Earlier in the week she also set new championship records for best 36-hole score (132), best middle 36-hole score (131) and best 54-hole score (198).
In addition to winning the Rae-Vadee T. Suwan Champion’s Medal, Wu will be rewarded with starts in three major championships in 2024 - the AIG Women’s Open at St Andrews, the Amundi Evian Championship in France and the Chevron Championship in the United States of America.
Furthermore, she’ll receive invitations to a number of other elite championships including the Hana Financial Group Championship, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, The 121st Women’s Amateur Championship and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Among those who were not surprised at Wu’s success was her compatriot Ting-Hsuan Huang, winner of the 2022 WAAP at SCC.