Golf: Nasa Hataoka wins LA Open with just one shot off tournament record

Nasa Hataoka tees off on the ninth hole during the final round at Wilshire Country Club, on April 24, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Nasa Hataoka fired an eagle and four birdies in a four-under 67 on Sunday (April 24) to notch her sixth career LPGA title at the LA Open.

The Japanese, who led by four entering the final round, finished with a 15-under total of 269.

That was one shot off the tournament record set by Canadian Brooke Henderson last year and gave her a five-stroke triumph over Australian Hannah Green, who carded a closing 68 for 274.

It was a particularly satisfying victory, coming a week after Hataoka missed the cut at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

The 23-year-old had four birdies and a bogey in the first seven holes at Wilshire Country Club.

She drilled a 35-foot eagle putt at the par-four 15th to lead by six shots so that a closing bogey was barely a blip.

"That eagle really helped me kind of relax a little bit, kind of feel like I was putting really good today," Hataoka said.

"Putting-wise, poa annua greens are really difficult to play, but my experience on this type of green helped me a lot."

Although Green wasn't able to apply much pressure on Sunday, the Australian was pleased to finish with a solid round.

"Definitely, really happy with how things are trending," She said. "It was nice to be a bit more consistent. Last week, I got off to a great start and then just couldn't maintain it in Hawaii.

"So, I feel like once I get the putter hot, I'm pretty excited to see what's to come."

Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom had five birdies without a bogey in a 66 that put her tied for third on 277 alongside 2019 LA champion Minjee Lee of Australia, who carded a 68, and South Korean star Park In-bee, who closed with a 70.

World No. 1 Ko Jin-young, who was tied atop the leaderboard with Hataoka on Saturday before a late quadruple bogey, closed with a four-over 75 that left her tied for 21st.

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