Lizette Salas won her first LPGA Tour title at the Kingsmill Championship on Sunday, finishing with an even-par 71 for a four-stroke victory.
Salas was never really challenged in the final round on the River Course in Williamsburg, Virginia, though Taiwan’s Yani Tseng did get within three of the 24-year-old American courtesy of three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine, but the former world No. 1 finished with two pars and a double-bogey to card a 69, putting Salas’ lead at five shots.
Tseng nearly made it very interesting at the par-five 15th, but her eagle putt stopped just short.
“One more roll [and] it will be in,” the Taiwanese said afterward. “I know if I make that I have a good chance.”
Tseng, who was seeking her first victory since 2012, tied for second with Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Lexi Thompson of the US and Australian Sarah Jane Smith. Thompson had a 69 and Smith shot a 66 for the best round of the day.
Fellow Taiwanese Candie Kung fared less well, shooting a 73 on Sunday for a 285 total to share 45th place with Brittany Lincicome, Dori Carter and Katie Futcher and take home US$5,143.
Salas started the day with a three-shot lead and doubled it with birdies on the par-five third and par-three fifth. A bogey-five on No. 8 was her only hiccup — and only her third bogey in four rounds — until she three-putted the par-three 17th.
The American finished at 13-under 271 to earn US$195,000.
Salas, who has a history of agonizingly close near wins, cupped her head in her hands and covered her face in celebration after the final putt fell, but her private moment of triumph was quickly interrupted by a champagne, water and wine shower from fellow competitors.
“I was patient, I was happy and I was ready — most importantly,” Salas said on the green. “I took a different approach this week of not thinking so much and trying to be perfect.”
Additional reporting by staff writer