Amy Yang wins her third Honda LPGA Thailand title

Amy Yang did a good job holding her own nerves to edge past Minjee Lee and Carlota Ciganda for the Honda LPGA Thailand title, her third in five years

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Amy Yang with her Honda LPGA Thailand title - LPGA Images

LPGA Release – 24 February 2019: Amy Yang won her third Honda LPGA Thailand title at Siam Country Club on Sunday, carding a 7-under-par 65 for a total of 22-under 266. Amy Yang won the LPGA Thailand for the third time after holding off Minjee Lee by one stroke on Sunday.

The 29-year-old from Republic of Korea, birdied six holes on the front (including five in a row) before an hour long lightning delay. When play resumed, Yang was three strokes clear of Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Australian Minjee Lee but both players caught up to Yang for a tie of the lead after she bogeyed the par-4 14th.  

“Honestly I was a bit—very nervous out there starting off the round,” said the four-time LPGA Tour winner. “Just be patient, do your best. Just when nervous thinking rises, just let it go.”

Yang who started off the day with a three-stroke advantage over the field, felt the pressure build as players started to make a late move in the final round.

“I would say 16 par-3, that big putt. I think that was a big putt to finish,” said Yang who pulled away from the three-way tie after her birdie on No. 16. “Also 17 and 18 were not easy holes to finish on.”

Yang, from South Korea, carded a final-round 65 and a 22-under-par 266 at Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course for her fourth overall LPGA Tour win.

Despite lightning stopping play for 50 minutes and a rain delay later in the round, Yang emerged from a three-way tie with Lee and Carlota Ciganda with a birdie from the fringe of the green on the par-3 16th to regain the lead at 21 under. 

With Ciganda already signing off at 20 under, Lee, on the 18th, had the chance force a playoff if she made a 14-foot eagle putt. She didn’t, and she had to settle for a birdie to finish with a 66 at 21 under.

“I really fought out there,” said Lee, who was looking for her fifth LPGA Tour win. “Just tried to make as many birdies as I could. Probably didn’t play probably 15 and 16 the way I wanted to, but I think overall, I had a pretty solid performance.” 

Ciganda finished at 20 under after having eagled the par-5 first and the par-4 15th. She shot a 63 on Sunday, matching Eun-Hee Ji’s score from Thursday as the lowest of the event.

“I hit lots of greens, (was) hitting great shots, great numbers, and then today, the putting was hot,” Ciganda said.

Yang, who earned $240,000 of the $1.6 million purse, is expected to move from No. 37 to No. 2 in the Race to the CME Globe following the win.

MINJEE LEE FIGHTS HARD THROUGH FINAL ROUND IN THAILAND

World No. 7 Minjee Lee shot a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 in the final round of the Honda LPGA Thailand but finished one stroke shy behind winner Amy Yang. Lee had a solid performance throughout all four rounds of the tournament and put on a stunning performance for her fans. Happy about her round, Lee managed to close in on Yang’s three-stroke lead at the time the lightning delay occurred, while hitting 10 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens.

“I really fought out there. Just tried to make as many birdies as I could. Probably didn’t play probably 15 and 16 the way I wanted to, but I think overall I had a pretty solid performance,” said Lee.

Her runner-up performance at the 2019 Honda LPGA Thailand is her best finish of the event. She previously finished fourth in 2018, T25 in 2017 and T8 in 2016.

CARLOTA CIGANDA SHOOTS LOW -9 TO FINISH THIRD

Carlota Ciganda was four strokes behind the third-round leaders, sitting at T8 at -11 but her stunning performance on Sunday moved her five spots up the leaderboard. Her final-round 9-under-par 63 included five birdies and two eagles, topping her previous low round in Thailand by three shots. Ciganda’s third-place finish was her best Honda LPGA Thailand performance in the six starts she has made in the event.   

“To be honest, I was just playing my game, and I saw that Amy was 21-under at that point. I just wanted to get to 20-under,” which Ciganda reached with an eagle on the par-4 15th. “I thought that would be a good score for today.”