Yanhong Pan wins inaugural Australia Classic

The inaugural staging of the Australia Classic between the ALPG and China LPGA has seen four-time CLPGA winner Yanhong Pan take the title in a dramatic conclusion at Sydney’s Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club.

On a day when the lead fluctuated, Australian Rebecca Artis came to the final hole looking set to take the trophy after a crucial birdie at the 17th had given her the outright lead at 14-under-par.

Yanhong Pan Yanhong Pan (Credit: ALPG Tour)

However, a poor tee shot on the tough 18th by Artis and a great approach to 12-feet by Pan brought the prospect of a two-shot swing into play.

That prospect became reality when Artis missed her par putt, allowing Pan to calmly sink her birdie putt to take the title, finishing at 14-under-par after rounds of 68, 65 and 69.

Artis finished runner-up at 13-under-par while another Chinese player, Zipi Ye finished outright third a further three shots back. First round co-leader Sarah Oh was fourth, while Nikki Campbell shared fifth place with Malaysia’s Michelle Koh.

“It’s awesome to win,” Pan said, “I kind a struggled at the beginning, because the putting and the approach shot were not well. It was a tense competition for both of us. Artis is a good player and keep chasing closely.”

“At the 17th, she got the lead. I thought she might win but I didn’t expect she didn’t hit on the green after her second shot at the last hole.”

“At that time, I feel I got the chance to win. It’s only a 4.5 yard putt to get in the hole. I closed my eyes to putt, I made it.”

“Finally, I won. I’m so happy.”

For her part, Artis was philosophical after her final hole mishap and the great birdie from her playing partner.

“I played pretty solid golf all day today, I hit some great shots coming down the stretch, you know I birdied 15 and 17, hit great one into 17 to give me a one shot lead.”

“I just hit a poor tee shot on the 18th and left myself to far in and it was a great birdie by her. That was one of the toughest holes on the golf course, that was an awesome birdie.”

Artis was able to console herself with a cheque for over $15,000 and takes a great deal of confidence from the week ahead of a return to the Ladies European Tour in a few weeks..

“Absolutely gives me confidence, it is all about putting yourself in contention, week in and week out and eventually and hopefully one day I can finish it off again.”

“But I am looking forward to China and Turkey. I had a great Aussie summer so I can’t be disappointed at all.”