Two trips to Shanghai, two wins for Danielle Kang. On her 27th birthday, the American captured the 2019 Buick LPGA Shanghai, successfully defending her 2018 title at Qizhong Garden Golf Club with a one-stroke win over Jessica Korda. Kang shot a bogey-free 2-under 70 on Sunday, breaking her own tournament record to finish at 16-under 272.
Kang pulled two strokes clear of Korda with a birdie at the 15th, but on 17, Korda got back within one with a birdie of her own. At 18, Kang came up 3 feet short on her 25-foot birdie putt and admitted to a good case of nerves over what ultimately became her winning putt.
“It was a really stressful day. I definitely played well out there. It was really tough because you're definitely watching what Jessica is shooting and scoring, and always just try to keep in my own game,” said Kang. “There were a lot of birdie opportunities. I made some really great up and downs. I've never been more nervous than the last putt for some reason, but I made it.”
Korda was unable to keep up with the mistake-free Kang. After starting the day one stroke ahead of Kang, she shot even-par 72 with three birdies and three bogeys.
“I just didn't have any like good numbers. I couldn't get anything going. Everything was half shots. I was either short or I was long,” said Korda, who was looking for her sixth win in six different countries. “You know, just couldn't get anything going today. It was just one of those days where it just wasn't meant to be, I guess.”
Yu Liu, of the People's Republic of China, surged up the leaderboard with a final-round 65 and tied for third with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and American LPGA rookie Kristen Gillman, who earned the best finish of her LPGA career. Megan Khang tied the 18-hole scoring record of 8-under 64, acing the par-3 11th to go with six birdies to finish tied for seventh.