McDonald celebrates 28th birthday with first LPGA Tour win

Ruben Hill
October 28, 2020

She started the final day one shot behind McDonald but could not get her birdie putts to drop until the last two holes where she drained a 15-footer on 17 and a two-footer on the par-5 18.

Celebrating her 28th birthday, the world number 62 McDonald recorded a final-round three-under par 69 to finish 72 holes on 16-under 272 at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia.

"After playing well at the KPMG, it was a confidence booster and it just helped me realized that I can play good golf and I can be in contention so it's more of how I can handle my nerve", said Pagdanganan, who will be in the final pairing with five-time champion Kang and McDonald. "I think I'm very proud of how I played despite not having my full game, but Ally played wonderfully and it's been a really great week". "Ready to take on tomorrow".

She was in solo second place, one stroke behind McDonald, a five-year tour veteran who shot a 69 for 203 in her quest for her first LPGA win and the championship purse of $1,300,000 (roughly P62.9 million).

That was good enough for a one-stroke lead over fifth-ranked compatriot Danielle Kang and Filipino standout Bianca Pagdanganan with Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn another shot adrift.

"I'm sitting on the lead". "It's not shying away from it".

Pagdanganan said she just kept it going despite the two bogeys on the front nine. I don't have to push and be more than I am.

"I should've taken advantage [of the par-5s] but I also don't want to beat myself about it", she added.

While no spectators were allowed on the course due to COVID-19 safety issues, a lakeside back nine allowed viewers aboard more than 20 boats to watch the action. "I put myself in a great position to hit some really good shots and it was really solid". "Getting everything together and just firing from the start will be pretty key".

Kang was to have been seeking a third consecutive LPGA crown in Shanghai this week befire Covid-19 wiped out the event.

Ko had six birdies in her third round on Sunday (NZT), with her solitary blemish a double-bogey six on the par-four fifth hole. "I think maybe it was a little trickier to score today, like harder to make get it close and have a lot of birdie opportunities. I'm happy with what I did". She made birdie but McDonald two-putted for par and the win. Kang birdied Nos. 12, 13 and 14 to pull within a stroke, but bogeyed the 15th.

Before that, the 22-year-old Pagdanganan - a gold medal victor during the 2018 Asian Games and double-gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games here a year ago - and then made a 15-foot putt on 17, her first on the back nine after seven straight pars.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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