Feb 19, 2017: Ha Na Jang played her last six holes at 5-under par with an eagle and birdie on the final two holes to claim the 2017 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open title. India’s Aditi Ashok finished at T-52.
Aditi Ashok tied at T-52, scoring three birdies with equal number of bogeys to close with par 73 in the final round to finish the tournament with three-over 295.
Jang carded a 4-under 69 to come from four shots back to win at Royal Adelaide by three shots over Nanna Madsen, picking up her fourth career win on the LPGA Tour and first of the 2017 season.
“The first hole I was very nervous on the tee because I want to make birdie at every hole, more aggressive and try that. The second shot was a really big miss, a little topping of my ball and after hole number 1 it’s really tough day, because every hole par, par, make par, and then just I talk to caddie, it’s like, “Okay, I try just be patient every hole,” said Jang. “Really good score in the after rounds, like after hole number 12, hit a really good birdie 13 and 14 and it really, the topping at hole number 17 is equal, and at 18 it’s a really good strong finish, that’s why it’s good sport today.”
Third round leader Lizette Salas made bogey on her first hole of the day which set the tone for her final round and finished in a tie for seven at 5-under with six others.
“I’m just going to say it’s disappointing. I don’t really have any words other than it was pretty bad. I mean, I stayed patient, I wasn’t dramatic, I wasn’t trying to force anything,” explained Salas. “It’s just my ball didn’t find the hole today. I had some bad swings that cost me a stroke and I couldn’t find a rhythm. After I had those two birdies in a row (9 and 10) I thought I had it back, but three-putting is not going to win the tournament. The fact that I had two back-to-back is very disturbing, but I finished strong, you know, par-par even though I wanted to birdie 17.
“But Ha Na played great today. You expect your competitors to play great on Sunday and that’s what she did. I just didn’t have it today.”
After Jang’s bogey on the first hole, she maintained her composure and caught fire towards the end of the back nine playing her final six holes at 5-under. The eagle on the par-5 17th hole and birdie on the par-4 18th hole put Jang in prime position to win the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
“The feel, always the win is exciting, like really amazing, it feels like I’m third time I play Australia,” Jang on winning in Australia. “I always get really good scores, like two years ago I finished second probably and then last year I finished third probably. It’s a really good score every year, really good mind. I just try like top 5 this week, but just try simple, it’s a really good score and now a win today right now, so exciting.”
The win ranks among Jang’s tops.
“I love Australia because the food is good, people is really kind, I love the golf course, and the weather is so good because it’s not really hot. Strong windy and a little dry, I like dry arid conditions, so, really good,” explained Jang.