Thai pair Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsukul and Kusuma Meechai (above) proved that they both have the game to compete at the heights of the Ladies European Tour when they finished inside the top 20 at the Sanya Ladies Open in China.
Meechai, 20, from Bangkok, tied for eighth place after rounds of 68, 66 and 75 for a total of seven under par at Yalong Bay Golf Club.
Muangkhumsukul, 16, from Khon Kaen, shared 14th position after rounds of 73, 67 and 71 for a five under par total.
Muangkhumsukul and Meechai were first and second respectively at the Ladies European Tour’s Lalla Aicha Tour School Pre Qualifying C event at Mission Hills Resort Haikou, also staged in Hainan, China, the previous week.
They advanced to the Final Stage of Lalla Aicha Tour School being held on 18-22 December in Morocco along with Neha Tripathi from India, who missed the cut in Sanya and fellow Thai Renuka Suksukont, who did not play in the Sanya Ladies Open.
Meechai, who has one win on the China LPGA Tour and tied for second in the recent Xiamen International Ladies Open, held a two stroke lead going into the final round but despite losing her lead on the last day will no doubt benefit from the experience when it comes to the gruelling five round Final Qualifier in Marrakech next month.
Muangkhumsukul (above) who has eight titles on her domestic circuit, the Thailand LPGA Tour and one on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour, will also have the confidence of having played in Sanya and the Hero Women’s Indian Open, where she finished in eighth place.
The Ladies European Tour is extending its global presence ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games by expanding the qualification system and the unique brand of the Lalla Aicha Tour School, which is named in honour of HRH the Late Princess Lalla Aicha of Morocco. Last year China became the second country to host an Official LET International Qualification event, joining Morocco, with another event taking place this year in Colombia.