Mizuki Hashimoto of Japan is congratulated after her win in the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) Championship
Mizuki Hashimoto of Japan is congratulated after her win in the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) Championship Image Credit: Supplied

UAE resident Natalii Gupta of India shot a final round two-under, to finish tied 13th on six-under at the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Saturday.

Gupta, 17, had a four-birdie front nine of 34 and hit a level par 36 after the turn.

April Varney, UAE national women’s coach, said: “Natalii has played exceptionally well all week. To achieve three rounds under par for this tournament playing at almost 6,500 yards over the National Course is to be applauded. This week’s field is world class and we will see what Natalii wants to do next. We are so proud of her.”

In a thrilling final round Natthakritta Vongtaveelap of Thailand started top of the leaderboard by three shots, but after just seven holes found herself three behind Japan’s fast-starting Mizuki Hashimoto, who managed three twos by the seventh green including for an early six shot swing.

Parity was resumed at the turn as Vongtaveelap eagled the eighth and Hashimoto dropped a shot on the ninth.

On the back nine, 19-year-old Hashimoto, 121st in the amateur rankings, birdied 11 to go one ahead and parred the last seven holes for a one-shot victory.

Vongtaveelap tied second alongside Australian Kelsey Bennett, who finished with a 68, all three playing in the final group.

The best score of the day came from Thailand’s Kan Bunnabodee — a 66 to go along with her course record 64 in round two to also finish tied second.

Japan’s Ayaka Tezuka celebrated a hole in one on the fourth.

Hashimoto, by virtue of this victory, earns invitations to play in two major championships: the Women’s Open and Evian Championship. She also booked a spot in the Hana Financial Group Championship and Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

Andrea Faldella, Club Operations Manager at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, said, “We are hugely proud to host this significant event on the global golfing calendar. The standard of golf has been tremendous and we hope all players and officials have enjoyed their time in Abu Dhabi and especially at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. We will watch with interest how the champion Hashimoto and all the other players in the field progress in their golfing careers.”

Final standings

M Hashimoto (JPN) - 16
K Bunnabodee (THA) -15
K Bennett (AUS) -15
N Vongtaveelap (THA) -15
N Inagaki (JPN) -13
A Lau (MAL) -12