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Tatematsu takes European tour pre-qualifier

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Japanese amateur Rina Tatematsu won the Ladies European Tour Lalla Aicha Pre-Qualifier C at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap on Saturday. Photo supplied

Tatematsu takes European tour pre-qualifier

Japanese amateur Rina Tatematsu won the Ladies European Tour (LET) Lalla Aicha Pre-Qualifier C by a widening seven strokes after carding a final round 70 at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap on Saturday.

Handling the award winning Sir Nick Faldo-designed course with great skill, Tatematsu rounded off the 72-hole event with a nine under par 279.

American Savannah Viluabi produced a strong stretch finish with a 67 but that was only good enough for her to be runner up at two under par.

Japan’s trio of Mina Nakayama, Hikarau Teeranishi and Ayaka Nakayama took the next three qualifying spots.

The top five players advance to the final stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School, to be held at Amelkis Golf Club and Palmgolf Marrakesh Qurika in Morocco from December 16 to 20.

The 17-year old Tatematsu, who lives in Bangkok, had a peculiar form fluctuation with six birdies and four bogeys in the final round but felt that her birdie on the fifth, after a bogey at the previous hole, turned things around.

“I am looking forward to qualifying in Morocco. There are a lots of players playing in the LET and it could be a great start to my career,” the Japanese teen-ager said.

Momo Sakuragi, Ya-chun Chang, Shu-lin Lin, Han Kyu-young and Emily Grace De Comberti made up the 10-player field.

“It was again a great week at AGR hosting an event for the LET,” said AGR head professional Alan Martin. “Rina Tatematsu was a pleasure to watch, and I am sure she will be a future star on the tour. She handled herself like a seasoned tour pro.

We are hopeful we can bring a main LET Tour event to Cambodia in 2019, subject to securing a main sponsor.”