Planet Golf — 25 February 2017 by GW staff and news services
Golf Bag: Yang cruises to LPGA win

 CHONBURI, Thailand — Amy Yang rarely wavered with a big lead during the final round of the Thailand LPGA tournament, shooting a 4-under 68 to win by five strokes Sunday.

Due to rain delays, Yang was forced to play her final five holes of the third round on Sunday morning, and she led by five strokes after 54 holes.

Later in the day, the 2015 Thailand champion saw her lead reduced to three shots on several occasions, but the South Korean held on to post a record 22-under 266 on the Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course.

The previous tournament record of 21 under was held by Suzann Pettersen in 2007 and Ai Miyazato in 2010.

Yang, who won for the third time on the LPGA Tour, made a 15-foot putt on the 14th for par, then drove the green on the par-4 15th.

“I knew I had to make it, and I did,” Yang said of her par putt on 14.

She missed her eagle attempt at 15, but made a three-foot putt for birdie to increase her lead to four shots with three to play. From there, her lead was safe and she birdied the 18th for good measure.

So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champion, matched Yang with a 68 to finish second.

Lexi Thompson had the best round of the day, a 67, to finish tied for fourth, nine strokes behind, and level with fellow American Danielle Kang, who shot 68.

The tournament featured 18 of the top 20 players in the world, including top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand, who shot a closing 68 and was tied for eighth, 11 strokes behind.

“I am beyond happy, I had so many early wakeup calls this week,” said Yang, who had to play 31 holes on Saturday and 23 on Sunday. “I had to stay patient out there.”

Yang carded 10 birdies, one eagle and only one bogey over her second and partial third rounds on Saturday.

Korea’s Jang wins Aussie Open

ADELAIDE, Australia —Korean golfer Ha Na Jang has produced a stunning late surge to win the women’s Australian Open at Royal Adelaide.

Jang landed an eagle and three birdies in her last six holes on Sunday to triumph by three shots from Denmark’s Nanna Madsen.

“It’s a really good, strong finish. That is why it’s good sport today,” said Jang, the world No.6.

Australians Minjee Lee and Sarah Jane Smith were among a quartet tied for third at six under, with compatriots Hannah Green at five under and Su Oh finishing four under.

Lee, the world No.17 and Australia’s top-ranked golfer, was the best-performed local in testing winds on Sunday, carding three under in what she described as another learning experience.

“I will always have something to take away from this week … hopefully someday soon I’ll win it,” she said.

Australia’s Green shot two under in the final round in a heartening tournament for the 20-year-old from Perth, who only turned pro in October last year.

“I’m really excited. I feel like I belong on the LPGA,” Green said.

World No.1 Lydia Ko lagged behind the pacesetters at two over in her first outing since changing coach, caddie and club-makers late last year.

“It was my first tournament back. I think there are a lot of positive things to look at rather than thinking ‘hey, I shot over par’,” Ko said.

Furyk tweaks Ryder Cup point system

Furyk also said Wednesday that the final pick will be made after the BMW Championship in 2018, instead of a last-minute decision before the Americans leave for Paris.

The U.S. points system will stay largely the same because Furyk says it worked well in a U.S. victory at Hazeltine last year.

The biggest difference is the majors. Points will count double at the 2018 majors, but only for the winner. Everyone else will receive 1 1/2 points. Furyk says because majors have such high purses, finishing third in a major is equal to winning a TOUR event when points are doubled.

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