Date: April 29, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Silver lining to Aussie Sirikit charge

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Australia has charged home to finish second at the Queen Sirikit Cup in Korea.

The powerhouse host nation finished an incredible 22-under-par 410 after the third and final round at Ora Country Club on Jeju Island to run out victorious by 23 strokes in the Asian teams’ championship.

But the Aussie women, buoyed by a brilliant closing 69 from international newcomer Robyn Choi, completed a great turnaround to edge out the Philippines on countback at 433.

The Australian women had been sixth after the first round, but proud coach Virginia Irwin said the young team had shown tremendous grit to surge through the field.

“Robyn’s 69 created some great energy on course that filtered through the team,” Irwin said.

“It was a fantastic team effort all round. I was extremely proud of their commitment and how they handled every aspect of this event.”

Choi inspired the Aussie women with her second consecutive sub-par round after a wobbly opening on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old from Royal Pines was exemplary in firing a three-under-par 69 to finish a commendable 21st overall at six over after being 11 over through the opening round and ranked 38th.

Fellow Gold Coaster Karis Davidson finished one stroke better overall at five over after rounds of 77-71-73 to finish T17 – a position that could have been even better if not for a putter that just wouldn’t co-operate.

“Karis showed patience on course playing well throughout, although she was just unable to hole anything,” Irwin said.

Perth’s Hannah Green continued her consistency, but a 73 meant she couldn’t push higher than T7 at two over after starting the day tied sixth.

“Hannah fought back well after finding herself three over after 10 holes,” Irwin said.

Taiwan (434) was fourth, Thailand and Malaysia (437) were tied fifth and China (438) was seventh.

The Korean women were exemplary throughout the tournament en route to their ninth victory in the past 10 Queen Sirikit Cups.

First-round leader Hyun-kyung Park took the individual crown at eight under from second-round leader Hye-jin Choi (-7), with today’s best round of 66 coming from their teammate Gayoung Lee (-6) to complete the trifecta.