Singapore: Jang Ha-na saved her best for last. The 23-year old from South Korea shot a tournament-low seven-under 65 and eagled the 72nd hole to claim her second career LPGA title at the US$1.5 million HSBC Women’s Champions.
Jang, who held the solo 54-hole lead, finished at 19-under and four shots ahead of Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum at Sentosa Golf Club, a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“It’s amazing right now, because the last-hole eagle was fun. Very enjoyable,” said Jang. “I felt very comfortable today and I’m really happy because that’s two wins for me now this year.”
It was Jang’s second victory in her last four starts. She won her first title – the Coates Golf Championship presented by R+L Carriers – last month in the United States.
After recording four runner-up finishes in her rookie year last season, Jang said her goal in 2016 was to get two wins. She now realises she’ll have to re-evaluate her goals. “My target in 2016 was two wins – and right now I’m there. So I’m going to change my target to two more wins,” said Jang.
Jang’s eccentric personality has been on showcase so far this year and has put on some memorable celebrations in big moments. In the season-opening event in the Bahamas, Jang had the first-ever albatross on a par-four in LPGA history and took a traditional bow to the ground and kissed the green as she approached the hole.
A week later in her maiden win, she celebrated with a Samurai inspired rendition with her putter on the 18th green. This week’s featured a dance inspired by Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance.
“I’m watching the TV and really good music with Beyonce, and watching Beyonce, she’s really nice,” said Jang. “I was thinking about what to dance to after my putt – Single Ladies. I’m single right now, too!”
Jang started the day with a one-shot lead over Phatlum and went out in 33 to extend the lead to three shots through nine holes. Her first bogey in 50 holes cut the lead to two.
But three straight birdies from 12 through 14 gave Jang control and a four-shot lead with four holes to play. It was her putter that made the difference, sinking a 30-footer on the 13th and a 50-foot bomb on 14.
She walked to the 18th tee with a three-shot lead after Phatlum birdied the 16th and said it wasn’t exactly in her gameplan to go for eagle. Jang initially didn’t want to admit she was just trying to get on the green. Her approach on the par-five went more left than she originally wanted but her three-wood from 194 yards did not steer her wrong. Her ball hit the front side of the green and rolled to six feet left of the hole.
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