On her 27th birthday, Danielle Kang shot a bogey-free 2-under 70 to claim her second-consecutive Buick LPGA Shanghai title.
Kang entered the final round in Shanghai, China one off the pace of compatriot, and playing partner, Jessica Korda, but after a first-hole birdie, coupled with a bogey by Korda, the birthday girl was on top by a shot.
For the next 13 holes, Kang played par golf while Korda mixed two birdies with two bogeys to stay within a shot of the lead. Kang, though, broke through with a second birdie on the 15th hole to go up two shots, but Korda answered with a birdie of her own on No. 17 to slice the lead back to one. After Korda made par on 18, Kang drained a knee-knocking three-footer to secure the one-shot victory.
“It was a really stressful day. I definitely played well out there. It was really tough because you’re definitely watching what Jessica is shooting and scoring, and always just try to keep in my own game,” said Kang, who now owns three career LPGA titles.
“There were a lot of birdie opportunities. I made some really great up and downs. I’ve never been more nervous than the last putt for some reason, but I made it.”
Korda finished her final day in China with three birdies against three bogeys en route to a 15-under par total, good for solo second-place.
“I just didn’t have any like good numbers. I couldn’t get anything going. Everything was half shots. I was either short or I was long,” said Korda, who was looking for her sixth win in six different countries.
“You know, just couldn’t get anything going today. It was just one of those days where it just wasn’t meant to be, I guess.”
China native Yu Liu surged up the leaderboard with a final-round 65 to finish T3 on 13-under, alongside Japan’s Nasa Hataoka (68) and American rookie Kristen Gillman (68). The trio finished one-shot clear of Korea’s Sei Young Kim (68) who finished solo sixth-place on 12-under par.
Megan Khang rode a hole-in-one on the par-3 11th to a course-record of 8-under 64 to finish tied for seventh with Ariya Jutanugarn (67) at 10-under par.
Final Top-5 Finishers
Pos-Name-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Danielle Kang -16 (-2)
2. Jessica Korda -15 (E)
3. Yu Liu -13 (-7)
3. Nasa Hataoka -13 (-4)
3. Kristen Gillman -13 (-4)
Top-3 Check Cashers
- Kang – $315,000
- Korda – $192,103
- Liu, Hataoka, Gillman – $111,310
Name: Danielle Grace Kang
Height: 5′ 5″
Birthdate: Oct 20, 1992 (age 27)
Native: San Francisco, Calif
Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada