PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. (AP) — Ruoning Yin became the second Chinese winner in LPGA Tour history Sunday, holding off Georgia Hall in the DIO Implant LA Open.
The 20-year-old Yin closed with an eventful 1-under 70 for a one-stroke victory over Hall, the English player whose 5-foot birdie try on the 18th to force a playoff slid by the right side. Recently retired Shanshan Feng is the other only other Chinese champion, winning 10 times on the LPGA Tour.
“That means a lot, not just for me, also for China,” Yin said. “Shanshan is always my goal here, and I think she got 10 tour win here, and, yeah, it’s just my first one. She’s definitely the person I look up to.”
Yin finished at 15-under 269 at Palos Verdes Golf Club, making six birdies and five bogeys in the final round in her 20th tour start.
She had a nine-hole stretch without a par, making a birdie on No. 2, three straight bogeys, four straight birdies and a bogey on No. 10. After dropping a stroke on 13, she birdied 14 and parred the final four.
“I fought so hard today,” Yin said. “I just made three bogey in a row on the front nine. I’m so happy that I fought back.”
Hall closed with a 67, making four birdies in a bogey-free round. She also was second last week in Arizona, losing a playoff to Celine Boutier.
“I was really happy just to be in this position on the weekend, especially my 9 under yesterday,” Hall said. “Just really proud of myself again. Just really gutted not to at least get to another playoff. But a bogey-free round on the final day in tough conditions out there, so just on to the next one.”
Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand and Hyo Joo Kim of South Korea tied for third at 12 under, with Tavatanakit shooting 65 and Kim 71.
Nelly Korda (67) and Carlota Ciganda (66) were 11 under.