Amy Yang repeats history with another victory in LPGA Thailand

CHONBURI, THAILAND - FEBRUARY 24: Amy Yang of Republic of Korea kisses the trophy after winning Honda LPGA Thailand at the Siam Country Club Pattaya on February 24, 2019 in Chonburi, Thailand. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images) Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

Amy Yang repeats history with another victory in LPGA Thailand

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Amy Yang repeats history with another victory in LPGA Thailand

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Amy Yang’s victories in Thailand are almost becoming predictable. She’s won three of them now, and they’ve all come two years apart.

Yang, 29, came out the blazing Sunday with five consecutive birdies on the front nine at Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course. A lightning delay in the middle of the round followed by a rain delay could’ve easily put off the South Korea stalwart. But she held it together, carding a 7-under 65 to shoot 22-under 266, edging Minjee Lee by a stroke in the 2019 Honda LPGA Thailand.

“I was honestly very nervous,” said Yang, “especially last three holes. It was tough hole to finish. I was really telling myself (to) just be patient, do (my) best at the time.”

Yang shared the lead with Carlota Ciganda and Lee with three holes to play. A birdie from the fringe on the par-3 16th allowed Yang to regain the lead.

Lee had the chance to force a playoff on the 72nd hole with a 14-foot eagle putt. When the putt didn’t fall, Lee signed for a 66, giving Yang her fourth overall LPGA title thanks to birdies on two of the last three holes.

“I really fought out there,” said Lee. “Just tried to make as many birdies as I could. Probably didn’t play probably 15 and 16 the way I wanted to, but I think overall I had a pretty solid performance.”

Ciganda’s sizzling 63 included eagles on the first and 15th holes, the latter of which briefly gave her a share of the lead. The Spaniard’s score matched that of Eun-Hee Ji on Thursday as the event’s low round.

“I hit lots of greens, hitting great shots, great numbers,” said Ciganda, “and then today the putting was hot.”

Yang, who began the day with a three-shot lead, can’t really explain her success in Thailand. She embraces the steamy conditions, the delectable food.

“Even my friends ask me, too,” said Yang, “and I really don’t know.”

Michelle Wie tied for 23rd in her first event back since last October, tumbling down the board a bit after a closing 74.

Thai stars Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn finished within a shot of each other. Moriya closed with a 69 to take a share of 10th, while top-ranked Ariya birdied three of the last four holes to shoot 70.

It proved a dramatic week for Ariya, who found herself embroiled in a backstopping controversy with Amy Olson on Friday that dominated the event’s headlines. Olson came into the weekend only two shots off the lead but shot 72-75 over the weekend for a share of 23rd.

Lexi Thompson, a winner at this event in 2016, took a share of 48th in her second start of the season.

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