With rounds of 71-75-70-69 at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, Danielle Kang etched her name in the LPGA Tour history books with a scoring average of 70.082 to win the 2020 Vare Trophy.
“At the end of the round, I looked at my caddie and said, ‘We won the Vare.’ That is an accomplishment in all cases,” said Kang, who hit 13 of 14 fairways today and 14 greens in regulation. “This one feels like a really good mark in my career, that I was able to do it and accomplished it. I can look back on the 2020 season and at the Vare Trophy, and that’s part of it.
“To be part of the legends [list to win the Vare Trophy], I just want to make them proud moving forward as well, because they left this game for us and they left this stage for us, and I wish that I can do that for the future.”
Earlier in the week, Kang also pledged $1,000 for every birdie she made during tournament action to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, a proud partner of the LPGA Tour. Thanks to 16 birdies at Tiburón Golf Club, Kang raised $16,000 on her own, while donations through her online platform are nearing $15,000 with time still left to donate.
“I always like to say give when you can. I was really inspired by how Mary Browder spoke about St. Jude and I was very appreciative of CME to host the event,” Kang said. “We have to appreciate that. With all that said, being able to play for something and knowing that we can make a difference, no matter how I finished I am personally donating $16,000. Plus all the people that were involved in the pledge account [online], really thankful.”
IF THERE WAS A TROPHY FOR MOST BOGEY-FREE ROUNDS, IT WOULD GO TO MINA HARIGAE
On a day with so many awards and trophies to hand out, including the CME Group Championship trophy and Rolex Player of the Year Award, another shoutout goes to 11-year LPGA Tour veteran Mina Harigae, who didn’t record a bogey since the first round on Thursday. In sum, Harigae recorded two bogeys, 14 birdies, and 60 pars throughout the four days, leaving her with an overall score of -12.
“For the most part I was hitting the ball really solid. I think maybe the last two days I hit a lot of greens so I only had to try to get up and down a few times,” said Harigae. “When I missed the green my short game saved me and I made a couple good par putts and couple good chips. Yeah, just everything felt good.”
Speaking modestly, the American-Japanese player hit 56 of 72 greens in regulation and 51 of 56 fairways with luck having nothing to do with it. It was all of Harigae’s hard work since the summer of 2019.“It feels like a long time. Honestly I think the process started probably like a year and a half ago. Even like January, February I was still working on a lot of things, so the break actually helped my game a lot. Once we started, I was like a whole new person,” said Harigae.