Chinese star Xiyu Lin started her 2018 season in style defeating Welshwoman Lydia Hall in a sudden-death playoff at the ALPG Ballarat Icons Pro-am at Ballarat Golf Club this afternoon.
Lin and Hall, who both played in the afternoon wave of the pro-am both shot 3 under par rounds of 69, which meant that a playoff would be required and the pair headed back to the 18th tee.
After both players drove superbly to within 30 metres of the green at the 330-metre par 4, Hall looked the most likely to take the title after pitching to just a metre from the hole. Lin's approach was too strong and the 21-year-old was left with a birdie putt from 10 metres which slid by the hole. Hall had the stage to herself with a putt for the win but her birdie attempt missed on the left leaving Lin a similar distance to send the playoff into another hole. Lin looked on anxiously as her putt caught the edge of the hole before falling in and the duo were headed back to the 18th tee for the second time.
The second time around both players once again found the fairway, and Hall playing first was too strong with her approach sending it 9 metres past the hole. The door was open and Lin responded by hitting a superb sand wedge to almost tap-in distance, and after Hall's birdie putt just missed on the low side Lin calmly rolled her putt in for the victory.
Lin, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour was delighted to start her season with a win 'This is a great boost to start the year with a win, I have been working hard in the off-season and it feels good to play well in the first round of the year. I would really like to thank my sponsors Buick for all of their support"
Just a shot back tied for third place after shooting 2 under par rounds of 70 were former Vic Open champion Marianne Skarpnord and Germany's Leticia Ras Anderica.
Final Results and prizemoney
The ALPG Tour now heads down to 13th Beach for the Oates Vic Open which will be played from 1-4 February. Further information can be found at http://www.vicopengolf.com/
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