Teenager steals spotlight at Royal Canberra
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Last week on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour, 13-year-old Lydia Ko nearly beat Caroline Hedwall at the New South Wales Open.
But a teen prevailed this week at the Royal Canberra Ladies Classic and knocked off marquee names such as Laura Davies and Katherine Hull in the process.
Ashley Ona, the 2009 Australian girls amateur champion, burst into tears after completing an up-and-down from the back of the final green to secure the one-stroke victory over American Alison Walshe.
Ona, 19, built a three-shot lead with four holes remaining. But Walshe carded birdies on the final three holes and just missed her eagle putt on the 18th before taking the clubhouse lead at 11 under.
Ona had to par the last hole to win, but that was in danger after she sprayed her second shot into trees on the right and her third shot flew over the back of the green. But she hit her pitch to within 1 foot of the pin and tapped in for victory.
“It is definitely my biggest win, and I think it is a great steppingstone,’’ Ona said. “I now have the confidence to match it with these girls.’’
Frances Bondad, the second-round co-leader, finished in third place, two shots back at 10 under. Bing Le, Hedwall, Jessica Shepley and defending champion Kristie Smith shared fourth at 9 under.
Hull and Beth Allen finished tied for seventh. Crowd favorite Davies couldn’t get anything going Sunday and finished T-16 after a 76 in the final round.
The ALPG Tour continues Thursday at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne.