Victorious Cassandra Kirkland at Yalong Bay Golf Club, Sanya
French golfer Cassandra Kirkland came from a stroke behind to claim her first professional title and earned the first prize of 37,500 euro awards here on Sunday at the 2012 Ladies European Golf Tour Sanya Open held from Nov. 2-4.

The 28-year-old from Paris held off stiff opposition to post a final round 70 on a hot and breezy final day at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Sanya, a tropical city in Southern China’s Hainan Province.

She ended two strokes clear of fellow Frenchwoman Jade Schaeffer and England’s Holly Aitchison, with a further nine players a stroke back in a tie for fourth.

"It was totally unexpected because I’ve struggled so much this year and I didn’t have my 6-iron, so I guess I didn’t have any expectations this week and I didn’t put any pressure on myself. I didn’t feel stressed out there so it was really good," said Kirkland, the sixth-season Ladies European Tour professional, whose previous best finish was fifth at the 2010 Hero Women’s Indian Open.

Thailand’s Numa Gulyanamitta started with a one stroke lead but Kirkland quickly claimed the advantage after two holes, when she birdied and Gulyanamitta put her second shot into the water and finally lost her advantage.

"When I made that shot I was like, I think this is my day. I felt more confident of course," said Kirkland.

And Australian Frances Bondad, the last year Euro Women Golf champion, made a total of 219 golf scores, ranking 32. Meanwhile, English famous golfer Laura Jane Davies gave a good ball on Sunday to finally get 215 golf scores, ranking 16.

The 16-year-old young professional Lin Xiyu and 35-year-old Lu Yuexia were the best Chinese players finishing in a share of fourth on three under par after final rounds of 69 and 71 respectively on Sunday.

A total of 114 athletes from 23 countries and regions in the world competed in the tournament for the total of 250,000 euro (about 320,000 U.S. dollars) awards during the 3-day event.

Founded in 1978, the Ladies European Tour, one of professional golf events, was first held in China in 2008 and in Sanya in 2010.

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