Solheim Cup Star Nanna Koerstz Madsen Makes LPGA History
Nanna Koerstz Madsen secured her maiden LPGA Tour victory with a dramatic play-off win at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
The Dane, an ECCO Golf Ambassador, took a one-shot lead into the final day at Pattaya Old Course and held a four-shot advantage over the chasing pack with three holes to play, only for Xiyu Lin to capitalise on an expensive finish from Madsen to take the contest to extra holes.
Madsen bogeyed the 16th and Lin picked up a shot at the par-three next to halve the lead, before a two-shot swing at the last saw Madsen fail to get up and down from the back of the green and Lin roll in a five-foot birdie to level the contest.
The pair broke the 72-hole tournament record by finishing on 26 under and both made par on the first extra play-off hole, only for Madsen to drain a 10-foot eagle on the next to become the first Danish winner on the LPGA Tour.
"It's amazing. It's a dream come true," said Koerstz Madsen, an LPGA Tour Member since 2018. "It was a crazy day; a lot of good things. I'm really excited to be standing with the trophy right now."
Lin had birdied three of her final four holes to post a final-round 66 and almost chipped in for eagle at the first extra hole, matching Madsen's birdie, with another at the next not enough to claim her breakthrough win.
"I'm very proud," Lin said. "Sometimes it's just weird. You shot 26-under and then cannot win a tournament. But that's my lowest ever shot in a tournament week, and like four days of very solid golf. Like I'm going to take a lot from this.”
A final-hole eagle from Celine Boutier secured the Frenchwoman outright third, while Amy Yang finished three off the pace in tied-fourth with Canada's Brooke Henderson.
Ireland's Leona Maguire carded a bogey-free 64 to jump into a share of 12th, while England's Mel Reid ended the no-cut event - where there was a two-and-a-half-hour weather delay due to thunderstorms - in tied-51st.
“My game doesn't need an awful a lot of work," Maguire said. "Just kind of a fine-tuning and check-up, few home-cooked meals and sleep in my own bed and be good to go again."
DP World Tour
Pablo Larrazabal claimed his sixth DP World Tour title as he defeated Adri Arnaus and Jordan Smith in a play-off after four days of spectacular scoring at the MyGolfLife Open hosted by Pecanwood.
The Spaniard had entered the day two shots off the lead at Pecanwood Golf and Country Club but soon hit the front and engaged in an enthralling battle with Arnaus and Smith at the top of the leaderboard.
With the trio tied after 72 holes, they headed back to the 18th tee and although all three of hit beautiful approach shots, Arnaus could not make his birdie putt and it was left to Larrazabal and Smith to go again.
While Larrazabal found the fairway, Smith was in the rough and it was the 38-year-old who put his second to four feet for another birdie and the victory, with Smith three-putting from off the green for a bogey.
The Spanish pair carded rounds of 67 to finish the week at 22 under, where they were joined by Smith after a 65.
Home favourite George Coetzee carded a 64 to finish at 21 under, one shot clear of countryman Richard Sterne and two ahead of another South African in Hennie du Plessis, Spaniard Nacho Elvira and England's Ross Fisher.
Since coming through the Qualifying School in 2007 and winning the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award the following season, Larrazabal has been one of the DP World Tour's most consistent performers for over a decade.
He finished outside the top 100 on the DP World Tour Rankings in Partnership with Rolex for the first time last season but this win takes him inside the top ten and moves Spain onto 196 DP World Tour wins.
Larrazabal 's last victory also came in South Africa at the 2020 season-opening Alfred Dunhill Championship and he was quick to pay tribute to his hosts.
"You guys are fantastic to me," he said. "Since the first time I stepped into this country in December 2007 I realised that this country has something very, very special and it's you - the people."
He was also quick to pay tribute to long-time caddie Raul Quiros, who missed his last victory at Leopard Creek Country Club.
"He has been on the bag for six years and the one week he didn't come was here in South Africa at Leopard Creek," he said. "He had a week off and I had the trophy so I want to thank him for all these years and congratulate him."
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