Lexi Thompson closed with a 3-under-par 69 to win the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship by one stroke over Yani Tseng of Taiwan and Sang Hyun Park of South Korea on the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea.
The 20-year-old Thompson took the lead with three straight birdies through No. 9, added another birdie on the short par-4 15th, where she hit a flop shot out of the rough to within eight feet, and saved par on the final hole after hitting another flop shot from the deep rough to within 12 feet and two-putting.
”It’s very satisfying.” said Thompson, who won for the sixth time in her LPGA Tour career, including the Meijer LPGA Classic in July. ”I always look forward to coming back to South Korea and playing in front of these amazing fans. I love Sky 72. It’s a great golf course. Getting a win, it means so much.’
” … I hit some good flops shot out of the rough today, which helped me out quite a bit. That’s good. That’s what I’ve been working on, my short game, my chipping and my putting.”
Tseng, the former No. 1 player in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings who has 15 LPGA titles but none since 2012, birdied the last two holes to shoot a 68 that was marred only by a double bogey 6 on the 10th hole.
Said Tseng: ”Getting closer and closer. I’m very feeling good about my game.”
Park, the first-round leader with a 62 who won the OK! Savings Bank Se Ri Pak Invitational last week on the KLPGA Tour, finished with a 71.
Amy Yang of South birdied the final nine holes for a record-tying 62 and tied for fourth, two shots behind, with second-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand, who totaled 72, and Gerina Piller, who came in at 67.
In addition to tying Park’s course record, Yang became the first player in LPGA Tour history to close with nine straight birdies and tied the record for consecutive birdies set by Beth Daniel in 1999.
After starting with two straight pars, Yang posted her only bogey at No. 6.
“I don’t know what just happened,” said Yang, who has won twice on the LPGA Tour, including the Honda LPGA Thailand earlier this year. “Just can’t believe, first time.
“I think six in a row was my best. That’s the first time. Shots were great. Early in the week I was shaky, but I don’t know, this back nine was crazy good, plus putting.”
Suzann Pettersen of Norway and Shanshan Feng of China were three shots back in a tie for seventh after 69s.