How it played out
Huang, who is 83rd in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR), started the day tied for the lead at eight-under par but slipped way behind with bogeys on the 1st and 4th holes. Vongtaveelap, on the other hand, made a birdie on the second hole and then sensationally holed her second shot from 113 yards on the par-4 third hole to open a four-shot lead at the top.
Despite birdies on the eighth and ninth holes, Huang still trailed her Thai playing partners (Suvichaya Vinijchaitham being the third player in the lead group) when the group reached the par-3 12th hole. On the toughest hole on the course, playing 0.34 shots above par, Huang played perhaps the critical shot of the championship when she birdied from the bunker. Vongtaveelap made a bogey and Vinijchaitham slipped up with a double bogey.
Vongtaveelap’s biggest strength – her ability to hit the ball long, became the chink in her armour. She started the day playing conservatively on the par-5 holes, and then when she tried to go for the green on the par-4 15th hole, where the tee was brought forward to 280 yards, she sprayed her tee shot right and could only manage par. On the par-5 18th, trying to go for a big tee shot, she lost her balance slightly and ballooned the ball, leaving her to have to be content with a closing par.
The Thai WAGR number 38 had a golden chance to tie for the lead going to the final, par-5 hole but she pushed her four-foot par putt. Huang could only make a bogey after her tee shot left her in an awkward position in the fairway bunker, from where she had to lay up.
Yani Tseng inspiration
Huang, who grew up idolising Chinese Taipei legend and five-time major champion Yani Tseng, then hit a brilliant third shot in pouring rain to set up a final birdie from less than three feet. Vongtaveelap once again missed a birdie putt from four feet and failed to put some pressure on the champion.
“I felt very nervous because Sim put some pressure on me over the closing holes. I didn’t do very well on the front nine, but I was thinking very positively on the back nine,” said Huang.
“The shot on the 12th was a turning point, because I got very lucky there. My ball was in a footmark there. But on the 18th (third shot), I didn’t think too much. I just felt very confident on that shot.”