March 20, 2017: An exciting finish to this year’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Anna Nordqvist held off In Gee Chun, Stacy Lewis and Ariya Jutanugarn to pick up her first of the 2017 season.
Nordqvist held a two-stroke lead entering the final round and fired final round 4-under par, 68. She had an impressive four days carding 26 birdies, one eagle, and three bogeys to finish at 25-under par for the tournament.
Earning her seventh career win in front of a ‘hometown crowd’ was something special for Nordqvist.
THREE AMERICANS POST TOP-10 FINISHES
In the first LPGA event on U.S. soil of the 2017 season, three Americans finished inside the top-10 – Stacy Lewis (T2, -23), Lizette Salas (T10, -19) and Jessica Korda (T10, -19).
Stacy Lewis finished two-back of Nordqvist as a co-runner up in her best finish since earning a runner-up at the 2016 Cambia Portland Classic.
Lizette Salas earned her second top-10 of the 2017 season – she had zero finishes in the top-10 all of last season.
Jessica Korda carded her first top-10 finish of the season – Korda hasn’t finished worse than T16 in four starts this year.
The 2017 LPGA season features two pairs of sisters: Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn and Jessica and Nelly Korda. The Jutanugarn sisters finished inside the top-8, led by five-time LPGA winner Ariya (T2, -23) while Moriya was close behind tied for eighth (-20). The Kordas also finished inside the top-20 led by four-time LPGA winner Jessica who tied for 10th (-19), while 2017 rookie Nelly finished T19 (-17).
ANOTHER RUNNER-UP FOR LEWIS
Stacy Lewis finished tied for second with In Gee Chun and Ariya Jutanugarn, a familiar place for Lewis since her last victory at the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Lewis has made 63 starts in that time frame and finished tied or solo second 13 times, while she’s been the runner-up 24 times in her nine-year career.
“Hit a lot good shots and didn’t quite get rewarded for them,” Lewis said. I played well. Hard to be too upset.”
CME GROUP CARES WEEKENDS UPDATE
Players scored 15 eagles over the weekend at the 2017 Bank of Hope Founders Cup, raising $15,000 for charity. This brings the total to 62 eagles on the year, which translates to $62,000 dollars raised.
Tournament winner Anna Nordqvist’s -25 (263) matches her career-low tournament score to par which she’s shot twice before, most recently at the 2017 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic where she placed third
With her seventh career win, Anna Nordqvist ties Helen Alfredsson for the third most LPGA wins by a Swedish player all-time – only Liselotte Newman (13) and Annika Sorenstam (72) have more
Anna Nordqvist went to Arizona State where she was named 2007 National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) Freshman of the Year, 2007 Pacific Athletic Conference (Pac-10) Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and co-champion, and also earned back-to-back NGCA First-Team All-American and Academic All-American honors in 2007-08. In 2008, she was named to the Pac-10 First Team and All-Academic Second Team
2016 Rolex Player of the Year and Race to CME Globe winner Ariya Jutanugarn finished as the runner-up for the second consecutive tournament, she has now finished in the top-8 in the last four tournaments
Ariya Jutanugarn’s -23 (265) matches her career-best tournament score in relation to par which she shot at the 2016 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, the site of her last win
2016 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year In Gee Chun’s -23 (265) is her career-best tournament score to par, her previous best mark was -21 (263) at the 2016 Evian Championship where she took home her second major championship win and set a new major championship record – male or female – for 72-hole score in relation to par.
Ha Na Jang made headlines Friday by acing the par-3 17th hole to win a brand new 2017 Kia, and today it was Gerina Piller with a hole-in-one on the par-3 14th hole from 186 yards, for her second-career ace
This week’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup kicks off a stretch of five consecutive tournaments in the United States, next stop: Carlsbad, California for the Kia Classic (March 23-26) where World No. 1 Lydia Ko will defend her title after a T8 finish in Phoenix