LA Final Round Five Things To Know From The Week
By Amy Rogers
Hannah Green gets back in the winner’s circle
Four years removed from her first two wins on the LPGA Tour, Hannah Green returned to the winner’s circle at the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro on Sunday. The Aussie won on the second playoff hole, beating Xiyu Lin and Aditi Ashok. The win was years in the making for Green who finished third at Wilshire Country Club in 2021, second in 2022, and then got her much-anticipated win on Sunday.
“I’ve had so many good results and that’s why we work so hard, to be able to hoist a trophy and it just shows how much it means,” Green said about getting emotional after her victory in L.A.
Green’s first win came at the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club and she won for the second time later that same season at the Portland Classic. She said after her victory at the JM Eagle LA Championship that the third win was particularly important because it has helped her remember how to win again.
“Sometimes you can play your best golf and it not be good enough,” Green said about her close calls over the last few years. “You have to just hang in there. I think this one is as big as the first two.”
Aditi Ashok comes close in L.A.
It’s only a matter of time before Aditi Ashok becomes a winner on the LPGA Tour. She came close on Sunday at Wilshire Country Club where she matched her career best finish on the LPGA Tour after coming up short in the playoff with Xiyu Lin and Hannah Green.
Ashok held the 36-hole lead after making changes to her equipment, including a putter switch and by putting some old familiar irons back in her bag. The changes helped Ashok get her game back on track after she missed her last three cuts on the LPGA Tour.
“I've never played in this position on the LPGA,” Ashok said about contending in L.A. “So to be near the lead on the first day, kind of stay there the whole tournament. The competition is just so deep out here. 10 people have a good tournament but only one can win. I'm happy with the way I played.”
Nelly Korda racks up another top 10
Nelly Korda returned to the top of the world rankings to start the week at the JM Eagle LA Championship following her third place finish at the first major of the season, the Chevron Championship. Korda spent the week in L.A. lurking around the top 10 on the leaderboard but never found the spark she was seeking as she finished T6 for the week and remains in the hunt for her first win of the season with six top 10s to start the 2023 LPGA Tour season.
“I just stuck to my game plan, honestly. It's tough being an aggressive player out here,” Korda said about the tough conditions at Wilshire Country Club. “There's sometimes where you just have to take a 30, 40-footer because the first bounce sometimes is really big. It's like a trampoline. You definitely don't want to leave yourself a putt above the hole, so you're trying to leave yourself some putts uphill, but that requires you not being so aggressive. Definitely a different game plan for me this week, but it worked out.
In Kyung Kim makes hole-in-one and donation to St. Jude
Friday, CME made a $20,000 donation to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital following In Kyung Kim’s ace at the par 3 12th hole on Friday. It was the 10th career hole-in-one of Kim’s career. The major champion said she hit a five iron to the hole, which she says was playing about 163 yards on day two.
“That hole was left-to-right wind and then the pin was on the left. It's one of, I think, the toughest pin positions, and I just focused on landing the front of the green,” Kim said about her ace at the 12th hole. “It looked promising and then it looked pretty good, and then just went in.”
The ace helped lift Kim inside the cut line with a second round 69 and she finished Even par for the week at Wilshire Country Club.
The LPGA Tour moves from L.A. to San Francisco
The JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro was the final tune up for players preparing to make the trip north to San Francisco and TPC Harding Park for the return of the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown. Next week’s team event returns to the LPGA Tour’s schedule for the first time since 2018. The competition features the top four players from eight countries around the world, including this week’s winner in Hannah Green, who will lead Team Australia. Team Korea won the last edition of the International Crown in Incheon, South Korea.