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Taiwan's Hsu Wei-lin tees off to victory in Credit Union Challenge

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's Hsu Wei-lin (徐薇淩) took victory in the Credit Union Challenge in New York on Sunday, becoming the third rookie to win on the LPGA Symetra Tour.

The Symetra Tour is the official developmental golf series of the LPGA Tour. Tour membership is open to professional women golfers and to qualified amateurs.

Sponsored by CTBC (中國信託), Hsu is one of the few female golf prodigies in Taiwan to successfully make a name in international golf. The Credit Union Challenge title is Hsu's first as a professional golfer.

Hsu began the final round trailing second-round leader Olivia Jordan-Higgins by three strokes but fell behind after a bogey on the par-4 third. With nerves of steel she was able to recover with back-to-back birdies on the 8th and 9th. She capped her gradual catch-up with another pair of birdies on the 14th and 15th.

It wasn't until American Kendall Dye made a bogey at the par-3 16th while Hsu made par that the Symetra Tour rookie found herself tied for the lead.

“I thought I had a chance on the par-4 14th because I made a birdie there and on 15,” said Hsu. “Then I saw a leaderboard and saw the leader was at 11-under but when I made birdie, I saw the leader make a bogey.”

Hsu tied with Dye on the 16th but after some steady shots she came up with another birdie on the 17th to grab the lead while the American fell with a three-putt double-bogey.

After taking over the lead, Hsu safely made par on the 18th to take home a two-stroke victory over Dye and Jordan-Higgins. Hsu ended with a 4-under 67 to win the tour at 11-under par.

“This is my first trophy as a career golfer,” said Hsu. “It is one of those games that gives a boost in confidence.”

Hsu's long-term coach and renowned local golfer Tseng Hsiu-Fung (曾秀鳳) said that since turning pro last year Hsu has aimed to stand out among the big players in the LPGA.

“The win at Credit Union Challenge is testament to Hsu's resilience and determination,” said Tseng, adding that although petite in figure, Hsu managed to overcome her weakness and excel.

“She is a star golfer,” said Tseng with pride. “I always tell her that just by playing alongside the big players she herself is a star.”

The coach stressed that having a positive attitude is key to success.

Sunday was a day to remember for Hsu as she took her first professional victory at the Credit Union Challenge. The victory inched the Symetra Tour rookie one step closer to obtaining her LPGA Tour card as she moved from No. 31 in the Volvik Race for the Card to No. 6.

Hsu hopes to follow in the footsteps of great Asian players like Yani Tseng (曾雅妮), Choi Na Yeon (崔羅蓮) and Inbee Park(朴仁妃), and earn her LPGA Tour card for next season.

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Winner of the 2013 Credit Union Challenge held in New York, Hsu Wei-Ling won the tour with 4-under 67 at 11-under-par on Sunday, July 14.

(Courtesy of CTBC)

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