Ally McDonald celebrates birthday with first LPGA triumph

Ally McDonald. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

Ally McDonald. (Photograph by Mike Comer/Getty Photographs)

Ally McDonald celebrated her 28th birthday on Sunday by successful her first LPGA title, capturing the Drive On Championship by one stroke over fellow American Danielle Kang.

The world No 62 fired a final-round three-under par 69 to complete 72 holes at Reynolds Lake Oconee on 16-under 272 for an extra-special birthday present.

“It is positively in direction of the highest that is for positive,” McDonald stated.

McDonald’s finest prior LPGA end was third finally 12 months’s Shoprite Traditional.

“I’ve by no means doubted my potential however it’s actually onerous to win out right here,” stated McDonald, her voice breaking with emotion. “I hung in there and I used to be actually comfortable to get a win.”

Fifth-ranked Kang trimmed her lead from 4 strokes to a single shot on the again 9 however settled for second after capturing 68 to complete on 273.

“It shook me up fairly unhealthy,” McDonald stated. “I needed to collect myself up and get my coronary heart price underneath management.

“I knew Danielle was going to place the pedal to the metallic. I informed myself to relax and do what I have been doing, comply with my recreation plan and management what I can.

“I used to be comfortable to hold in there and pull it out – simply the resilience I’ve.”

Filipino 22-year-old Bianca Pagdanganan, the world No 233 and LPGA driving distance chief in solely her sixth skilled begin, shot 70 to complete third on 274 with American Mina Harigae and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda sharing fourth on 275.

Kang initially was to have been looking for a 3rd consecutive LPGA crown in Shanghai this week earlier than Covid-19 worn out the occasion, resulting in the creation of this week’s match.

McDonald birdied the par-Three fourth and made the flip with a two-stroke lead over Pagdanganan and Kang.

She then sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the 10th to launch a run of three consecutive birdies that left her on 17-under with a four-stroke edge.

Kang rolled in a 10-footer for birdie on the par-Four 13th whereas McDonald missed a five-footer for par, her lead halved with 5 holes remaining.

Kang curled in a difficult downhill 12-foot birdie putt on the par-Three 14th, reaching 15-under to tug inside one along with her third birdie in 4 holes.

At 15, the course’s hardest gap for the week, Kang went over the inexperienced, pitched to 5 ft however missed her par putt and fell two again with three to play.

McDonald birdied the par-Three 16th however missed a seven-foot par putt on the par-Three 17th to maintain the lead at two heading for the par-5 18th.

McDonald put her strategy onto the inexperienced on the final and Kang lofted her eagle try so it barely missed the sting of the cup. She made birdie however McDonald two-putted for par and the win.

“I attempted,” Kang stated.

Main scores after Sunday’s ultimate spherical of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia (par-72, USA until famous):

272 – Ally McDonald 66-68-69-69

273 – Danielle Kang 65-70-70-68

274 – Bianca Pagdanganan (PHI) 68-67-69-70

275 – Mina Harigae 72-68-68-67, Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 73-65-68-69

277 – Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 67-69-72-69, Katherine Kirk (AUS) 72-65-70-70

278 – Matilda Castren (FIN) 69-69-73-67, Lydia Ko (NZL) 71-70-68-69, Brittany Altomare 71-67-70-70

279 – Pernilla Lindberg (SWE) 68-69-72-70, Mel Reid (ENG) 69-68-73-69,

280 – Su Oh (AUS) 71-72-69-68, Brittany Lincicome 72-70-70-68, Gaby Lopez (MEX) 70-71-70-69, Megan Khang 71-70-68-70

281 – Stacy Lewis 70-71-71-69, Hannah Inexperienced (AUS) 74-68-68-71, Angel Yin 72-67-70-72

282 – Liz Nagel 73-73-65-71, Sarah Schmelzel 72-71-68-71, Lindsey Weaver 67-72-72-71, Chella Choi (KOR) 69-69-72-72

283 – Austin Ernst 75-72-67-69, Marissa Steen 68-72-74-69, Lexi Thompson 71-74-68-70, Elizabeth Szokol 71-70-72-70, Jennifer Music 65-75-71-72, Lindy Duncan 71-71-68-73, Yealimi Noh 72-69-69-73

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