Tournament offers biggest first-place cheque in Asian golf, Kung/Tsang win team event
Haikou, China -- Golfing superstar Lorena Ochoa has won Asia's richest golfing prize, pocketing US$1.28 million for winning the inaugural Mission Hills Star Trophy, the groundbreaking Pro-Celebrity golf tournament played on the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills · Haikou in Hainan, China.
Ochoa, the long-time women's world number one, posted rounds of 71-71 to finish at four-under 142 in the 36-hole professional tournament on the Blackstone Course, enough to give her a two-shot victory over Colin Montgomerie in the race for the bumper 'winner take all' first-place cheque.
Montgomerie and Ochoa staged a seesaw battle all afternoon, with the pair each recording four birdies for the day and the lead swapping on multiple occasions. Montgomerie reached four-under and took a one-shot lead with a 10-foot birdie putt on par-four 17th, before making a regulation par-five at the last hole.
However, the 2010 Ryder Cup-winning captain, playing two groups in front of Ochoa, incurred a two-shot penalty after his caddie moved an advertising sign at the par-four 16th. Combined with Ochoa's up and down for birdie at the final hole, the Mexican earned a two-shot buffer and the US$1.28 million cheque.
Said Ochoa: "It was really an amazing day. It was just a case that everything went well over the two days and I was a 100-percent focused on every single shot. I tried to do my best all the time and it paid off.
"I made some great par saves, making some six and ten-foot putts and I think that's why Im here (as the winner). Right now I'm going to enjoy it, there's no more golf to think about. I'm going to enjoy it and go home really happy," she added.
In the team event, played in the four-ball stroke play format, LPGA player Candie Kung and Hong Kong celebrity Eric Tsang emerged as champions. They added a blistering 63 to yesterday's five-under 68 to finish on 15-under 131 and beat home favorites Kong Wei Hai and Ye Zhao Ying by one shot. China pop star Sun Nan and LPGA player Feng Shanshan were another shot behind in third place.
The inaugural Star Trophy was fought out between 18 teams consisting of a celebrity and a professional, including icons such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Phelps and Christian Slater, plus golfing heavyweights Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam, Sir Nick Faldo, Montgomerie, Rosie Jones and Ochoa, along with rising stars Danny Lee and Belen Mozo.
The Mission Hills Star Trophy was beamed to over 150 countries across the world. The TV output was managed by esteemed broadcaster Terry Jastrow, the veteran sports producer of 68 golf majors and six Olympic Games over his glittering career. Jastrow has won seven Emmy awards and been nominated 17 times.
The Mission Hills Star Trophy is one of the first major events supporting a government-led initiative to make Hainan a leading international tourism destination in the coming years and reaffirms Mission Hills Haikou as the world's most memorable golf resort.
Mission Hills Star Trophy, Final Scores (36 holes)
Individual Professional Scores
1 OCHOA, Lorena -4 71-71 142 US$1.28 million
2 MONTGOMERIE, Colin -2 72-72 144
3 KUNG, Candie -1 74-71 145
4 JONES, Rosie E 78-68 146
YUAN Hao E 72-74 146
PAK, Se Ri E 71-75 146
7 TSENG, Ya Ni +2 76-72 148
8 NORMAN, Greg +3 77-72 149
KONG Wei Hai +3 74-75 149
FENG Shan Shan +3 73-76 149
LEE, Danny AMS +3 72-77 149
12 SORENSTAM, Annika +7 79-74 153
CHOI, He Yong +7 78-75 153
14 MOZO, Belen +9 77-78 155
15 DAVIES, Laura +10 78-78 156
16 ZHANG, Lian Wei +16 83-79 162
17 IMADA, Ryuji +23 97-72 169
NCR FALDO, Nick
1 CANDIE KUNG / ERIC TSANG -15 68-63 131
2 KONG WEI HAI / YE ZHAO -14 69-63 132
3 FENG SHAN SHAN / SUN -13 62-71 133
4 SIR NICK FALDO / WANG -11 68-67 135
5 ROSIE JONES / MICHAEL WONG -10 74-62 136
BELEN MOZO / HUGH GRANT -10 71-65 136
MONTGOMERIE / FENG -10 69-67 136
YUAN HAO / LI XIAO -10 65-71 136
9 LORENA OCHOA / MICHAEL PHELPS -9 68-69 137
SE RI PAK / SUNG KI AHN -9 68-69 137
11 NORMAN / MCCONAUGHEY -8 70-68 138
12 HE YONG CHOI / VIVIAN LAI -7 69-70 139
13 YA NI TSENG / CHEN DAO MING -4 72-70 142
14 ZHANG LIAN WEI / SIMON YAM -3 73-70 143
LAURA DAVIES / RUUD GULLIT -3 72-71 143
16 SORENSTAM / ZETA-JONES +2 76-72 148
DANNY LEE / CHRISTIAN SLATER +2 72-76 148
18 RYUJI IMADA / AI KATO +8 86-68 154
LORENA OCHOA WINS INAUGURAL MISSION HILLS STAR TROPHY, COLLECTS US$1.28 MILLION
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