Hannah Green wins LPGA Tour’s JM Eagle LA Championship for 2nd straight year


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hannah Green won the LPGA Tour’s JM Eagle LA Championship for the second straight year Sunday, holing out twice from off the greens in a pivotal back-nine stretch at challenging Wilshire Country Club.

A year after making a 25-foot birdie on the final hole of regulation and winning on the second hole of a playoff, Green — with help from Maja Stark — took the late drama out of this one for her fifth LPGA Tour victory and second of the year.

“It wasn’t as a eventful as the last couple days. I was nervous,” Green said. “And I’ve never been able to win having a lead into the last hole like that, so it is nice to be able to get it done earlier in the round.”

Green closed with a 5-under 66 to beat Stark by three strokes. The 27-year-old Australian, also the winner early last month in Singapore, finished at 12-under 272 on the tree-lined layout with poa annua greens that become bumpy late in the day.

“It’s really kind to me,” Green said about the course. “I felt like a couple times today almost got like a member bounce. I, obviously, really am fond of the golf club and joked that they didn’t approve it with me that they were making alterations. I love it here.”

Green began the key run with a chip-in birdie on the par-3 12th and made a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-5 13th. Then, after Stark bogeyed the par-4 16th two groups ahead, Green ran in a 25-footer for eagle from the fringe on 15 to open a four-stroke lead, and made it 5 under in five holes with a birdie on 16.

“When I chipped in on 12 I kind of felt like I really snagged one there,” Green said. “I really like the 13th hole and also played the 15th really well. When I made eagle on 15 that kind of sealed the deal. I did see Maja got it to 9 under so I know what I needed to do. Usually, I make it really tricky on myself and only win by a shot.”

Stark finished with a 68, rebounding from the bogey on 16 to birdie the final two holes. The 24-year-old Swede also finished second last week outside Houston in The Chevron Championship, two strokes behind top-ranked Nelly Korda in the first major of the year.

“I’m really proud of the way I’ve played,” Stark said. “I feel like I’ve hit a lot of good shots and I feel like my nerves kind of took over for a little while, but I was always able to get back to the normal — my normal state of mind.”

Haeran Ryu (69) was third at 6 under, followed by fellow South Korean players Jin Young Ko (67) and Jin Hee Im (72) at 5 under.

Grace Kim, four strokes ahead entering weekend after opening rounds of 64 and 66 and tied with Green for the lead after a third-round 76, finished with a 77 to tie for 25th at 1 under. She failed to make a birdie the final two days.

Korda withdrew from the Los Angeles event Monday, a day after her record-tying fifth straight victory.


AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf

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