Australian teenager Su-Hyun Oh has won the first tournament of the 2015 Ladies European Tour season, the RACV Ladies Masters, becoming the fourth home winner of the championship.
The 18-year-old Victorian signalled her arrival as a world class player by capturing her first title at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast in only her second tournament as a professional.
With rounds of 69, 75, 72 and 69, Oh finished at seven-under-par atop of the leader board and three clear of English pair Florentyna Parker (69) and Charley Hull (73) and 2009 champion Katherine Kirk (69).
As Kirk and Parker walked to the clubhouse sharing the lead at four under, Oh made her winning move by reeling off four straight birdies at the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes.
Outright fifth was South Korean Annie Choi, while six players finished at two-under-par including South African Lee-Anne Pace and leading amateur Rebecca Kay.
Oh said that words of encouragement from her idol Karrie Webb who texted messages of support before her final round has helped her to stay relaxed.
“I spoke to Karrie. I asked her: ‘what do I need to do, you’ve won this eight times.’”
“Karrie said ‘just don’t think, just do it kind of. Just let it go, just keep doing what you’re doing.”
Oh burst into tears of joy on the 18th green after tapping in her winning birdie putt, before hugging her father Suk Gu Oh, who acted as caddie for the week.
“I got pretty emotional, didn’t I? That was a bit weird,” said the exuberant teenager.
Co-runner up Kirk was full of praise for Oh and the way in which she claimed her first victory after having secured an invite from tournament director Bob Tuohy.
“She looked pretty composed out there, she’s got the goods,” said Kirk, who fired rounds of (70-75-72-69).
Oh, the world’s number one ranked amateur in 2013, finished second on her professional debut in the Oates Victorian Open on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf tour the previous week and she had also finished tied for second behind Karrie Webb at Royal Pines as an amateur in the Ladies’ Masters in 2013. This was her fourth time playing in the championship.
The Ladies Masters’ has a tradition of producing world class players with Webb, Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam and Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa all going on to be ranked No.1 in the world after winning the title.
Having secured the opportunity to join the Ladies European Tour with her win, Oh is now looking for back-to-back wins with next week’s ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open starting on Thursday at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.