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Nasa Hataoka shoots last round 67, surpassing Minjee Lee and Eun-Hee Ji to win LPGA event in Arkansas


ROGERS, Ark.-Nasa Hataoka survived a nervous finish on Sunday at the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championships for a one-stroke victory over Minjee Lee and Eun-Hee Ji.

Hataoka, a 22-year-old from Japan, shot a final round of 4-under 67 to finish at 16-under. She made the par-5 18th hole three-holes after reaching the green in two, and had to make a 3-footer for par after rolling her first hole 15 feet past the hole.

Lee, one shot back in the same group, jerked a long ride down the middle but passed with a 196-yard 5-yard that ended very short of the elevated green. Her peak against the hill left her about 16 feet for birdie, and it could not fall.

Ji, who caught up with the par-5 14th to get into a fight, hit her second shot at 18 in a bunker behind the green. She sat out of the bunker to 3 feet under the hole and let the birdie finish to end in a draw.

Lee, who was tied with Hataoka to start the day at 12 under, shot a final round of 68, while Ji closed with a 67.

Hataoka, who won her fifth title at the LPGA Tournament, claimed her first win at this event in 2018. She was 5-under and 17-under overall through 12 holes before holding her second left and long in the par- 4 13th hole pulled. . She kicks back up the hill, about 50 feet past the hole. Her par putt was chasing when it slammed off the back of the cup, kept a foot away and saved her at least a 15-foot foot. It was one of only two bogeys she made in 54 holes.

She draws on every hole from 14-18 and sees Lee cut her lead to one with a birdie on the 156-yard par-3 17th hole.

“Overall, I’ve been solid for three days,” Lee said. “I missed some birdie opportunities today that I probably should have made. Under the circumstances, Nasa played very well today. I was just disappointed with my second shot at 18, but I still had a great week.”

Yuka Saso and Danielle Kang each finished with a 6-under 65 and finished for fourth place at 14-under. Local favorite Stacy Lewis, who won this event in 2007 and 2014, reached a final round of 66 to tie with Jin Young Ko.

Hataoka earned $ 345,000 for the win.



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