Yokomine lands timely ‘miracle’ at Masters GC Ladies
HYOGO, Japan – Regaining her spark, Sakura Yokomine snared a hole-in-one en route to victory in the Masters GC Ladies.
Displaying the form that propelled her to the top of the Japan LPGA money list last year, 24-year-old Yokomine used a 9-wood to ace the 195-yard seventh hole at the Masters Golf Club in Hyogo Prefecture.
LEADING FINAL-ROUND SCORES
206 - Sakura Yokomine (JPN) 71-67-68
207 - Yukari Baba (JPN) 67-71-69
209 - Jeon Mi-jeong (KOR) 69-69-71
210 - Paula Creamer (US) 74-69-67
212 - Young Kim (KOR) 71-70-71; Chie Arimura (JPN) 71-69-72
213 - Saiki Fujita (JPN) 73-71-69; Lee Na-ri (KOR) 71-72-70
214 - Maiko Wakabayashi (JPN) 71-70-73
215 - Mayu Hattori (JPN) 76-71-68; Ikue Asama (JPN) 74-70-71; Ye Liying (PRC) 72-70-73
216 - Song Bo-bae (KOR) 77-72-67; Mie Nakata (JPN) 73-72-71; Lee Ji-hee (KOR) 73-70-73; Bae Jae-hee (KOR) 71-71-74; Izumi Narita (JPN) 68-72-76
That moment of magic lifted her to a final-round 68 and a three-round total of 10-under 206 – enough for a one-shot victory over Yukari Baba (69). Korean Jeon Mi-jeong (71) finished third at 209.
Yokomine also holed out from off the green for birdie at No. 5.
“I pulled off a miracle on the front nine with the hole-in-one and a chip-in birdie,” Yokomine said. “I got pretty nervous on 17 and 18, but I remained focused down to the wire in a tense situation.”
It was the 17th Japan LPGA career title for Yokomine and her second win of the season, having captured the Fundokin Ladies in May.
American Paula Creamer, this year’s U.S. Women's Open champion, posted a joint best-of-the-day 67 to rise into fourth place at 210.
Yokomine appeared to be home free when she birdied No. 13 to go 5 under for the day – three shots clear of Baba.
But the margin was reduced to one when Baba picked up shots at Nos. 14-15. With the pressure mounting, both players parred No. 16 and then bogeyed the short No. 17.
With Baba unable to make a closing-hole birdie, Yokomine eked out par at 18 to clinch victory.
Korean Ahn Sun-ju, the runaway money-list leader, carded 72 to finish T-23 at 218.
But Yokomine is not ready to give up her money title quite yet. “Before I got started playing this week, it felt like I was a long way off . . . but with this victory I moved a little closer to the top of the money list. I’d like to try to take the lead,” Yokomine said.