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Feng birdies last hole to win Thornbery Creek LPGA Classic

By Murray Gleffe


HOBART—The 72nd hole proved to be a defining moment for China’s Shanshan Feng.

After Ariya Jutanugarn birded the 18th hole in Sunday’s penultimate group to tie Feng at 28 under, Feng wasn’t fazed by the moment and stuck her 8-iron approach to four feet.

Leaving the flagstick in, she calmly drained the putt to defeat a world-class field and capture her 10th LPGA title in the 3rd annual Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

Shanshan Feng birdies the 18th hole to win the tournament at -29. Photo by Murray Gleffe

“Of course, I feel really good,” said Feng. “All of the four round; 9-under today was actually the lowest. “So I guess 8-iron was maybe my best friend this week, I think. I’m going to use in the future a lot.”

Feng carded a 63 in the final-round which included nine birdies.

Even more impressive was the fact that she played the last three holes in 2 under, Sunday. with everything on the line.

For the second straight day, the par-5 15th hole played a role in determining this year’s champion.

With a two-stroke lead, Jutanugarn pulled her drive into the penalty area just out of the water.

After she pitched out, she yanked a long iron left of the green on her third shot.

Jutanugarn failed to get up and down and carded a 6 on one of Thornberry Creek’s easier holes leading to the fantastic finish.

Early on, Jutanugarn seized control of the tournament with two front-nine eagles.

The first was a holed bunker shot on the sixth hole and the latter was an eight-footer on nine to turn in 30 strokes.

“Actually, overall like my whole week was really good,” Jutanugarn said. “I love to be here. This is my third time here, so I just come back here every time, every year.”

Before the leaders had even teed off, Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit set a new course record with a 61 in the final round.

The 19-year old who turned pro in May after spending two seasons at UCLA carded a 29 on the front nine which included three eagles and a birdie.

“I was kind of in the zone today,” said Tavatanakit. “I let everything go and didn’t want to think about the 59. Maybe next time.”

She eventually tied for 15th in the tournament.

Two other challengers to the leaders were Amy Yang and Tiffany Joh.

Yang started strong but cooled off late and Joh birdied four of her last six holes to gather her top finish of the season.

Crowd favorite 17-year old Yealimi Noh cashed her first paycheck on the LPGA tour with a final round 68, while World Number 1 Sung Hyun Park faded and finished sixth.

“I’m just overall really happy the way I played this week,” said Noh. “I talked a lot with Amy (Yang) today. It was so much fun.”

Feng took home $300,000 for the win and will be back in the Top-25 of the Rolex Rankings come Monday.

“Well, my next goal is to actually win a major, so I think it’s still not running out yet,” added Feng. “I still got two more chances this year, so I will go for it. I think now I got my game back, and I believe I can win more in the future.”


-There were 53 rounds carded in the 60s in Sunday’s final round.

-With the 6th tee moved up in the final round to under 300 yards, there were 6 eagles and 49 birdies made.

-The 1st hole was the most difficult of the week with a 4.267 stroke average against par.

2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic Final Round Results (Top 8 Finishes)

1 Feng -29

2 Jutanugarn -28

3 Yang -25

3 Joh -25

5 Hyo Joo Kim -24

6 Noh -23

6 Park -23

8 Jin Yan -22

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