Dubai: Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum shot a 66 to lift the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters title with a 15-under-par 273 here on Saturday, birdieing the 18th to win by a stroke from overnight leader Stacy Lewis.
Phatlum, 24, started the day in second position on nine-under par, two shots behind Lewis, and she even fell to three shots behind after the 13th hole when Lewis made a further four birdies to Phatlum’s three.
However, Phatlum went on to birdie four of the remaining six holes, after both bogeyed the 15th — making an all-important two-foot putt at the end to seal victory and separate the pair.
“This win really increases my confidence,” said Phatlum, who has now won twice on the Ladies European Tour and seven times on the Ladies Asia Tour. Her last win was at the Hitachi Classic in January. “It inspires me to move forward from this season, and also, once I have this, I’m looking forward to have more victories.
“I didn’t think about it in terms of beating Stacy. She’s a big name, we cannot deny it. But I was just thinking about my game.”
With Thai women’s golf still relatively in its infancy, Phatlum said the victory would have a big effect on the game in her country. “There are a whole group of youngsters helping Thai golf right now, and I feel like this could inspire the newcomers to look up to the success,” she said. “This is a good example for them to see that we can do it.”
Meanwhile, world No 3 and British Open champion Lewis, who won two other events as well as the major this season, claimed a camera flash, which put her off a birdie shot on 17, proved pivotal in her defeat.
“Right when I pulled the club back, a camera went off right behind me,” said the American. “It’s happened before and I should have been able to keep going, but it distracted me enough and I missed it.
“The back nine that Pornanong played was pretty impressive. She hit shots when she needed to and made putts, and I didn’t.
“It’s still been a really good year. It’s had its highs and lows. I’ve played some consistent golf. But these last few months have left a sour taste on it, after losing a couple of tournaments right at the end.”
273 – Pornanong Phatlum (THA) 68 70 69 66
274 – Stacy Lewis (USA) 70 65 70 69
281 – Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 67 70 73 71
283 – Diana Luna (ITA) 73 68 69 73
285 – Louise Larsson (SWE) 72 71 68 74, Laura Davies (ENG) 70 71 71 73, Shanshan Feng (CHN) 76 67 71 71