• Ash fires to win Melbourne International

Emma Ash has marked her full-time return to the WPGA Tour of Australasia by taking out the Melbourne International at Latrobe Golf Club.

Flooding that made the course unplayable forced organisers to utilise a range of skills challenges on Sunday to provide the players an event to play in, Ash holding on in the final top-10 shootout to claim the $4,000 winner’s prize.

Fifty-five players took part and although her victory does not count as an official Tour win, the result is a boost to Ash ahead of this week’s Webex Players Series Murray River at Cobram-Barooga Golf Club.

WPGA CEO, Karen Lunn, was full of praise for Latrobe Golf Club for staging an event in such difficult circumstances and for the way players supported the concept.

“Obviously we were disappointed not to have the 36-hole tournament as planned but, given the circumstances, we can’t be more thankful to Latrobe for staging an event for our players,” said Lunn.

“We really appreciate the fact that so many of the sponsors stayed on and the Latrobe members who created such a fun atmosphere on Sunday.”

The day began with a long drive competition which was won by American Kyle Fraser with a shot of 262 metres.

Fellow American Kayla Thompson won the 54-hole pitch shot challenge before Ash took command by winning the final two challenges.

She took out the 90-metre pitch with a shot to 70 centimetres and was closest-to-the-pin on the final challenge at the 138-metre par-3 ninth.

The top 10 points getters then advanced to a tricky 30-metre downhill chip for the final, Ash holding on to win by 1.5 points from Elmay Viking and Danielle Peers.

Final scores

  1. Emma Ash (25)
  2. Elmay Viking (23.5)
  3. Danielle Peers (23)
  4. Ayaka Sugihara (23)
  5. Katelyn Must (20)
  6. Ina Yoon (20)
  7. Casey Wild (17)
  8. Geraldine Wong (15)
  9. Kyle Fraser (15)
  10. Stephanie Bunque (10)

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