LOS ANGELES, April 4 — China’s Yin Ruoning shook off an early bogey burst to card a one-under-par 70 and win her first US LPGA title at the Los Angeles Open, holding off major winner Georgia Hall by one stroke.
Yin, 20 and in her second season on the US tour, started the day with the lead but appeared in deep trouble after three straight bogeys at the third, fourth and fifth holes.
But she kept her nerve, reeling off four straight birdies from the sixth through the ninth to get her title bid back on track.
“I fought so hard today,” said Yin, who was in tears as fellow Chinese players congratulated her on the 18th green. “I’m so happy that I fought back, from holes six through nine it was four birdies.”
Her 15-under par total of 269 at Palos Verdes Golf Club put her one clear of Hall, who missed a six-foot birdie putt at 18 that would have forced a playoff as Yin two-putted from 25 feet for a closing par.
Hall had four birdies without a bogey in her four-under 67, nabbing her second straight runner-up finish after falling in a playoff to Celine Boutier in Arizona last week.
Another pair of major champions, Patty Tavatanakit and Kim Hyo-joo, shared third on 272.
Thailand’s Patty charged up the leaderboard with a six-under par 65 while Kim, playing in the final group, carded an even-par 71.
Spain’s Carlotta Ciganda and American Nelly Korda shared fifth on 273.
Yin, who turned pro in 2020 and won her first three China LPGA starts, took a two-shot lead into the final round and birdied the second hole.
Then came three straight bogeys before she righted the ship — she had just one par through the first 10 holes.
“Like I said yesterday, I can make birdie at this course for sure, and I just told myself got to be patient,” she said.
After bogeys at the 10th and 14th, Yin fought back again with a birdie at the 14th — where her second shot took a lucky bounce off a tree.
Hall, who had three birdies on the front nine, could find just one coming in, at the 16th.
Yin became just the second player from China to win on the LPGA tour, after 10-time winner Feng Shanshan.
“That means a lot, not just for me, also for China,” Yin said. “And Shanshan is always my goal here — I think she got 10 tour wins here and it’s just my first one.
“She’s definitely the person I look up to,” added Yin, who is the fifth different winner in five events so far this year.
The LPGA will now take a week off before the Lotte Championship in Hawaii, with the first major of the year, the Chevron Championship, coming up April 20-23 at its new venue, the Club at Carlton Woods near Houston. — AFP