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Shi showcases style and substance

By Chen Xiangfeng | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-05 07:50

Shi showcases style and substance

China's rising golf star Shi Yuting celebrates sinking a putt during the final round of Le Coq Sportif Beijing Ladies Classic on Saturday in Beijing. The 19-year-old won the China LPGA Tour event by two strokes. Provided to China Daily

With her good looks, fetching figure and super shots, there are plenty of reasons why China's rising star Shi Yuting reminds of Michelle Wie.

And rather like American superstar Wie during her trailblazing teens, 19-year-old Shi upstaged the adults on Saturday by winning the Le Coq Sportif Beijing Ladies Classic, thrilling the local fans and turning heads in the fashion stakes to boot.

"My sponsor has a specific plan for the design of my outfits according to the different seasons," said the young Beijinger after storming to a two-stroke victory ahead of second-placed Thai Supamas Sangchan at Beijing Orient Pearl Country Club.

"The staff will help arrange the best dress collection for me. Sometimes I will also discuss with them to find clothes that best suit my style.

"I think it's important to keep shining in the limelight and during competition."

Shi, who has spent the first half of the year playing in her rookie season on the Japan LPGA Tour, closed with a remarkable nine birdies over the final 12 holes for her second 65 of the week and a total 54-hole score of 16-under 200 - enough to earn her second China LPGA Tour victory.

"This is my first China LPGA Tour event this season. I am the happiest girl now," said a beaming Shi.

"I'm young and energetic, so I will try to play as much as possible this season on the JLPGA and gain more experience of playing on different courses."

Sangchan claimed the runner-up spot after firing a final-round 64, while overnight leader Na Hee-wan of South Korea carded a 70 to finish third, four shots off Shi's winning mark.

Going into the day one-stroke off the lead, Shi quickly found herself two strokes down when playing partner Na birdied the first hole. Both players shot a bogey five on the par-4 second before Shi dropped another stroke with a bogey on the next.

"I am not a long hitter. I just accept those two early bogeys because one is a long par-4 and another is a long par-3," said Shi, who last week retained her China National Team individual title in Langfang, Hebei province, while also leading the Beijing Women's Team to the team title.

After settling down to make three straight pars following her rocky start, Shi began her birdie blitz at the seventh hole in an impressive run that included five in succession from the 12th, tying her personal best.

"I thought I might have many birdie chances on the back nine and it is actually what happened. I played great and it worked," enthused Shi.

"I'm really excited with two wins over two weeks in China. I didn't treat them differently, both are important."

Thai Narisara Kerdrit (72), who matched the tournament record score with 9-under 63 in the first round, finished eight strokes off the pace, tied for fourth with Chinese trio Chen Liqin (68), Liu Ruixin (69) and Liu Yan (71).

chenxiangfeng@chinadaily.com.cn

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