Though she put up a valiant effort on Sunday at The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, Xiyu Lin once again fell a shot short of victory, finishing at -17 and one back of champion Charley Hull. Starting the day tied with Hull at -11, Lin threw the first punch, birdieing the opening hole at Old American Golf Club to get to -12 and take the lead. A pummeling then ensued, as Hull carded four birdies and one bogey to make the turn at -14, then tied with Lydia Ko and one ahead of Lin. After Lin went birdie-bogey on 10 and 11 to remain at -13, Hull rattled off three consecutive birdies from the 12th to the 14th to take a three-shot advantage with four to play. Not backing down, Lin birdied the par-3 16th to pull within two of the lead and eagled the par-5 17th, this week’s Aon Risk Reward Hole. But the charge just wasn’t enough. A Hull birdie on No. 17 gave her a one-shot lead at -18, and after both parred the last, Lin let the tears spill over as another opportunity passed her by.
“It's funny, my coach and I had a joke like trying to see how high of a world ranking I can get without a win,” said Lin, who ranked 23rd in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings ahead of this week. “It's not fun but it's fun. Any other week, there are 140 players out there and I came up second. It sucks but on the other side, it's good.”
The solo second is Lin’s fourth top-five and third runner-up result of 2022. In March, she lost in a playoff to Nanna Koerstz Madsen at the Honda LPGA Thailand and, a few weeks ago in Cincinnati, Ohio at the inaugural Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G, Lin finished one stroke behind Ally Ewing after carding a bogey-free, 7-under 65 in the final round. While tracking down her first LPGA Tour victory has been frustrating, the ever-positive Lin still looks for the light and will take plenty of good energy from her week in Texas as she continues her chase for that elusive title as the LPGA Tour season winds down.
“Actually, at the beginning of the week, if you're telling me I'm going to shoot 17-under here and finish second I will take this any time because I always found this course very challenging,” Lin said after carding all four rounds in the 60s to tie her second-lowest 72-hole total on Tour. “My game is not at the top, but I think I manage it really well, and today, especially the last couple of holes, I try really hard and I make some really, really good putts. So overall, I'm proud of myself.