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2021 SEA Games

SEA Games: Vongtaveelap nips Go in playoff, sends PH’s gold hopes crashing


Natthakritta Vongtaveelap of Thailand stayed on course for a gold medal sweep as she nipped Lois Kaye Go in a playoff, dashing the Philippines’ gold medal hopes in women’s golf team match play at the Heron Lake Golf Course in Vinh Phuc, Vietnam on Tuesday

Vongtaveelap flubbed a six-foot birdie putt on the par-5 No. 9 but watched Go flub her par-bid from just about the same distance, leading Thailand to a gold medal duel with Malaysia.

Go earlier trounced Eila Galitsky, 3&1, to force a playoff after Vongtaveelap foiled young Rianne Malixi, 2&1, in their side of the match play.

In a duel of the two countries’ top players, Vongtaveelap out-steadied Go, a member of the team that won the gold in the 2019 SEAG at Luisita in Tarlac, splitting the fairway in the playoff as Go drove into the left rough.

Though the Thai dumped her second shot into the right greenside bunker, she blasted to within birdie range but missed the putt. Go, on the other hand, hit the fairway on her second shot but came up short on her approach then muffed her par-bid from six feet, enabling Vongtaveelap to clinch the win for Thailand and stay on course for a gold medal sweep after a dominant stint in the individual competition.

Malixi, whose campaign is backed by ICTSI, held her ground against Vongtaveelap the majority of their semis clash but just couldn’t pull it off in the end.

The setback thus dropped the fourth-seeded Phl to a bronze medal duel with No. 2 Singapore, which yielded a 0-2 defeat to third-ranked Malaysia in the other semis clash.

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Mirabel Ting and individual bronze medalist Jeneath Wong eased past Suanne Loh and individual silver medalist Aloysa Mabutas as Malaysia arranged a gold medal clash with fancied Thailand.

The two countries will also dispute the men’s team gold after Thailand crushed Singapore, 3-0, and Malaysia nipped Indonesia, 2-1.

Individual gold medalist Ervin Chang also remained on track for a sweep as leads Nateeshvar Ganesh and Marcus Chuen Lim against the crack Thai troika of Ratchanon Chantananuwat, individual bronze medalist Weerawish Narkprachar and Asit Areephan.

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