Amy Yang leaves no doubt, wins Women's PGA Championship

Amy Yang leaves no doubt, wins Women's PGA Championship

WASHINGTON - Amy Yang of South Korea held off the field at the Women’s PGA Championship for her first career Major title on June 23 in Sammamish, Washington.

The 34-year-old Yang, who arrived at Sahalee Country Club on Sunday morning with a two-shot lead through 54 holes, shot an even-par 72 to card a seven-under 281 for the week. She defeated Lilia Vu (71), Ko Jin-young of South Korea (71) and Miyu Yamashita of Japan (73) by three shots.

Yang had five prior victories on the LPGA Tour, most notably at the CME Group Tour Championship last November. She twice finished as a major runner-up, at the 2012 and 2015 US Women’s Open tournaments. This week was her 75th start in a Major.

“I always wanted to win a major and I came close several times, and I started doubting myself if I’m ever gonna win a major before I retire, because I’ve been on tour quite a while,” Yang said on the NBC broadcast. “I am so grateful and very, very happy to win a Major.”

Yang at one point held a seven-shot advantage over the field. Her fifth and final birdie of the day, a four-foot birdie tap at the par-three 13th hole, put her at 10 under when the next-closest golfers stood at three under.

After a bogey at the par-four 16th, Yang landed her tee shot at the par-three 17th into the water. She made double bogey to slip to seven under but still had plenty of cushion for the final hole.

“It’s all the hard work our team did together and I’m so grateful for that. All four rounds it was tough out there, but I just trusted what I prepared and I did my best all week,” said Yang, who shot 70-68-71-72 during a week when only 13 players finished under par.

Vu, who won last week’s Meijer LPGA Classic, birdied her final hole to forge a tie with Ko for second place. Yamashita joined them with a birdie on the last hole as well.

Vu is the No. 2 player in the world rankings and won two majors last season. She said she was not surprised Yang sailed so far ahead of the field.

“I know she’s a really solid player and knows how to win,” Vu said. “Obviously it’s working for her and she’s played so well, so congrats to her.”

Despite no major on her resume before Sunday, Yang moved into sixth all-time in LPGA career earnings by taking home the US$1.56 million (S$2.11 million) winner’s check.

Ally Ewing (71) and Lauren Hartlage (74) tied for fifth at three under. Mao Saigo (67) and Hinako Shibuno (73), both of Japan, shared seventh place at two under. REUTERS

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