Gaby Lopez birdies closing 3 holes for 63 to win Dana Open


SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) — Gaby Lopez rallied from 4 photographs behind Sunday and closed with three straight birdies for a 8-under 63 and a one-shot victory within the Dana Open.

Lopez completed her massive run with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th at Highland Meadow, setting off a sequence of fist pumps, figuring out it might preserve her one shot forward of Megan Khang.

All that was left for the 28-year-old Mexican was to see if anybody might catch her.

No one got here notably shut, and Lopez had her third profession LPGA Tour victory, and her first for the reason that Tournament of Champions to begin the 2020 season.

“I knew I had to make it because Megan was going to make hers,” Lopez stated. “I practice exactly for this moment. We got the job done.”

Khang, who shot 29 on the entrance on a rain-softened course, closed with a 64.

Lucy Li, the 19-year-old Californian who began the ultimate spherical with a one-shot lead, struggled to make birdies. Her hopes successfully ended when she hit right into a fairway bunker on the sixteenth gap, performed properly in need of the inexperienced and missed a 5-foot par putt.

Li birdied the 18th gap for a 70 and tied for fourth. She already has her LPGA Tour card for subsequent season via the Epson Tour. Li tied for ninth in Canada final week to get into the Dana Open, and now she is eligible to play the LPGA occasion in Cincinnati subsequent week.

“Yesterday I was a little nervous on the first couple of holes. Today didn’t really feel nervous at all, so that was definitely good,” Li stated. “There is lots of lessons to be learned, but today I hit it good and I just couldn’t get a lot of the putts to fall honestly.”

The begin of the ultimate spherical had a really feel of a battle of prodigies — Lexi Thompson certified for the U.S. Women’s Open in 2007 when she was 12, after which Li broke her report in 2014 by qualifying at 11.

They have been within the closing group, together with Caroline Masson of Germany. In the top, none was actually an element.

Thompson has gone greater than three years with out successful and he or she didn’t make a birdie till the ultimate gap. She closed with a 73 and tied for sixteenth, seven photographs behind.

Li had one birdie and 14 pars as Lopez and Khang took over at Highland Meadow.

Masson was one shot behind Li at first and was rapidly forgotten when she opened with a double bogey and adopted that with a bogey to fall 4 behind. In the top, Masson was the final one with an opportunity, although she would have wanted an eagle-eagle end on the 2 closing par 5s.

She birdied them each for a 68 to complete alone in third.

For Lopez, it was a matter of not making an attempt to assume an excessive amount of about each shot, each outcome, and put her in a snug state of mind on a wild day during which she had 10 gamers forward of her at first.

“This is going to sound crazy, but today felt more like a Friday round,” Lopez stated. “Having that quiet is what we’re working on, and it has paid off.”

She was two photographs behind and missed 6-foot birdie possibilities on the ninth and eleventh and by no means misplaced deal with what she was making an attempt to do.

“Doubts come into your mind,” Lopez stated. “But my caddie said, ‘We jus keep doing what we’re doing. It’s definitely working, and we’re going to commit to that the last hole and see what happens.’

“If you keep it in the present, that’s when magic happens.”

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