Danielle Kang wins LPGA’s Drive on Championship by one shot at Inverness Club
It was the Tour's first tournament back following a COVID-19 shut down
TOLEDO, Ohio (LPGA MEDIA) - For the first time since Feb. 20, 2020, the LPGA Tour has crowned a champion. American Danielle Kang earned a wire-to-wire victory at the LPGA Drive On Championship, finishing at -7 to take a one-stroke win over France’s Celine Boutier. Kang has now won in four consecutive LPGA Tour seasons and survived a Sunday battle with Boutier that started in constant rain and ended under gloriously sunny skies.
“I’m really, really happy that I got to pull it off after leading the first day and second day,” said Kang. “Leading after the first day definitely gave me some hope, and I wanted it close it out. It came down to the last hole, last putt, but it was a really good battle out there, and it’s pretty cool.”
Kang held a two-stroke lead through 12 holes, but her advantage fell to one with a bogey at the par-5 13th. Boutier pulled into a tie with a birdie at No. 14, but her own bogey at No. 15 gave Kang a tenuous one-stroke lead.
“I kept telling myself, stick to the game plan. The game plan was to play aggressive and play my game,” said Kang. “No matter what anybody else did it didn’t really matter. It does but it doesn’t, because I still have to hit the shots. So I stayed really aggressive on 16, 17 and 18.”
It all came down to No. 18, where Boutier put her approach from 94 yards out to just 6 feet below the hole. After Kang closed with a two-putt par, Boutier’s birdie putt heartbreakingly lipped out, handing the victory to Kang.
“She was ahead the whole front, and then I just tried to focus on my game, because at that point I hadn’t played that well,” said Boutier. “So I just tried to hit fairways, hit greens, give myself opportunities, and then I managed to make a couple of birdies.”
Australian Minjee Lee took solo third at -4, with Japanese rookie Yui Kawamoto finishing fourth at -3. England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff finished fifth at -2, with the top-five finishers the only players to finish under par at Inverness Club.
The LPGA Drive On Championship is the fifth event of the season and the first of two consecutive events in Toledo, Ohio. Next week, the Tour will take to Highland Meadows Golf Club for the 35th playing of the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana.
KANG IN LOVE WITH INVERNESS CLUB
In just over one year, the LPGA Tour will return to Inverness Club for the 2021 Solheim Cup. It’s safe to say that Danielle Kang will be one of the most excited players to take on the renowned Donald Ross design.
“Inverness Club is definitely a chameleon. That’s what I kept calling it. Depending on the weather, depending on the time, it changes how it how it plays, how receptive it can be, defense. It’s just so different,” said Kang. “I think the best way I can put it is you have to respect the golf course. The golf course changes so often, and you can’t take little shots for granted. I just try and keep as much focus as possible and not let the golf course get to me and try and play the course instead of fighting it.”
FINAL LEADERBOARD: https://www.lpga.com/tournaments/lpga-drive-on-championship/results
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