Danielle Kang really likes Ohio. Or vice-versa.
Aided by a gut-wrenching collapse from Lydia Ko, Kang hoisted her second trophy in as many weeks on the LPGA Tour.
Last week it was the LPGA Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio. This week it was the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.
When Ko teed off on the 13th hole, her four-shot 54-hole lead over Kang had grown to five, and the New Zealander appeared well on her way to winning a third career Marathon title.
But following a wild six-hole finish at Highland Meadows Golf Club – which included pair of Kang birdies (Nos. 13 and 14), coupled with two bogeys (14 and 16) and a back-breaking double bogey by Ko on No. 18, it was the American who was hoisting the glass trophy for the second time in eight days in the Buckeye State.
“I kept telling myself, stick to the game plan. The game plan was to play aggressive and play my game,” said Kang, who now owns five career LPGA titles. “No matter what anybody else did it didn’t really matter.”
With the win, Kang becomes the first LPGA Tour player to win back-to-back events since China’s Shanshan Feng won two straight on the Asian swing in the fall of 2017 (TOTO Japan Classic and Blue Bay LPGA).
“I feel pretty good. I mean, I won two weeks in a row, so that’s good,” said Kang, who will move to a career-best No. 2 in the Rolex World Rankings.
“I’m really proud of all the work that I did during the off time, all the work that I did with Butch and all the workouts that I put in. I really utilized that time, and I’m proud to come out during this quarantine and be able to execute my game the way I wanted to. That’s what I’m most proud of.”
Jodi Ewart Shadoff shot a bogey-free 67 to tie Ko for second-place on 14-under par, one clear of Australian Minjee Lee, who holed out for eagle on No. 17 and then birdied 18 to secure sole possession of fourth on 13-under par.
For Lee and Shadoff, it marked the second-straight top-5 finish as the duo tied for third last week at the LPGA Drive-On Championship.
Five further back was a trio of Americans who rounded out the top-5 finishers at 8-under par, including Andrea Lee (65), Marina Alex (67) and Emma Talley (69).
Final Top-5 Finishers
Pos-Name-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Danielle Kang -15 (-3)
2. Jodi Ewart Shadoff -14 (-4)
2. Lydia Ko -14 (+2)
4. Minjee Lee -13 (-3)
5. Andrea Lee -8 (-6)
5. Marina Alex -8 (-4)
5. Emma Talley -8 (-2)
Top-3 Check Cashers
- Kang – $255,000
- Ko – $133,555
- Shadoff – $133,555
Name: Danielle Grace Kang
Height: 5′ 5″
Birthdate: Oct 20, 1992 (age 27)
Native: San Francisco, Calif
Resides: Las Vegas, Nevada
“I mean, it’s pretty cool to win back to back. Ohio has been really good to me and this week has been kind of a tester for a lot of different parts of my game.
“Golf course is a very cut golf course and I don’t usually play left-to-right shots, so that was a bit difficult. Definitely, yeah, to come out on top after last week, it’s kind of exciting.”
– Danielle Kang, LPGA Champion