Pornanong Phatlum fired a 7-birdie 66 in the final round of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters to turn a 2-shot deficit after 54 holes on Stacy Lewis into a 1-shot victory, her 2nd on the LET. Lewis appeared to have the tournament in hand through the 1st 10 holes, making 4 birdies and no bogeys to get to -15, but she played her last 8 holes in +1 and couldn't match Phatlum's 2 birdies to close out her round (and 4 in her last 6 holes overall) to catch and then pass the recent world #1.
It's huge win for the up-and-coming Phatlum, who recently got profiled over at Fairway and Forehands, where bangkokbobby noted that she finished the LPGA season strong with 2-straight top 5 finishes. And it's another difficult defeat for Lewis, who had come into the final round having taken a 54-hole lead into the winner's circle in 5 of her previous 6 attempts over the previous 2 seasons. It shows how difficult it is in women's golf today, whoever you are, to turn great play into victories.
I mean, how often do you finish at -14, 7 shots ahead of your next closest competitor (in this case, another up-and-comer, Carlota Ciganda)? Or 9 shots ahead of your next closest competitor (Diane Luna)? Or 11 shots head of Shanshan Feng, who won the Titleholders, and Laura Davies, who needs no introduction? Or 12 ahead of Euro wunderkind Charley Hull?
And not win.
The bottom line is, whether you win or not, you need to take the positives from the experience, use the lessons learned for your training and preparation, and use them your next time out. I'll bet Pornanong and Stacy can't wait for the 2014 season to start!
[Update 1 (11:24 am): Here's the LET's story!]
[Update 2 (12/9/13, 7:38 pm): Here's bangkokbobby's!]