Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Jang secures Australia title with eagle-birdie finish

AFP, ADELAIDE, Australia

South Korea’s Jang Ha-na yesterday stormed to a three-shot victory in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club with a blistering eagle-birdie finish.

The world No. 6 claimed her fourth LPGA tournament win with a sensational flourish to her final round.

Jang, 24, conjured a remarkable finish with an eagle from long range at the 17th, followed by a brilliant birdie at the 18th to reach 10-under 282.

Jang’s round of four-under 69 equaled the lowest round of the day, but it was done in the toughest of conditions with gusty winds.

Jang defeated Denmark’s Nanna Madsen on seven-under 285, with a group of four, including Thailand’s world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, sharing third place on six-under 286.

“It’s a really good, strong finish. That is why it’s good sport today,” Jang said. “The first hole I was very nervous on the tee, because I want to make birdie at every hole, be more aggressive.”

“After hole No. 1 it’s really tough day, because every hole par, par, make par and then I talked to caddie, it’s like: ‘Okay, I try just be patient every hole,’” she said. “I had a really good score after hole No. 12 and I hit a really good birdies at 13 and 14 and eagled the 17th.”

The South Korean star had a sizzling back nine of five-under 31, with birdies at the 13th, 14th and 18th holes as well as the eagle at 17.

Overnight leader American Lizette Salas, who led by three shots at the 11th hole yesterday, fell away badly to record a five-over 78 and finish tied for seventh.

World No. 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand never fired in the tournament and finished tied for 46th on two-over after a closing round of two-over 75.

Ko completed just one round under par at Royal Adelaide in her first outing since changing coach, club makers and caddie.

She focused on the positives.

“I hit my driver really well and that was the biggest thing that I was struggling with towards the end of my year last year,” she said. “It was great to be confident and be able to hit those fairways, especially with the wind this week, it wasn’t easy to hit them.”

“A lot of positive signs. Hopefully by next week it will be polished. It was my first tournament back,” she added.

Taiwan’s Chien Pei-yun carded a three-under 289 total to finish tied for 16th, while Min Lee tied for 30th on an even-par 292 overall, Hsu Wei-ling held on for a share of 46th at two-over and amateur Lin Tze-han finished last at 75th on 11-over 303.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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