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Danielle Kang wins LPGA tournament

Posted August. 04, 2020 07:44,   

Updated August. 04, 2020 07:44


Korean-American Danielle Kang won returned to an LPGA tournament, which resumed in about five months due to COVID-19, and grabbed her first win back from lengthy hiatus.

Kang closed with a 2-under 70 and held on for a one-shot victory over Celine Boutier from France in the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio on Monday. This was her fourth win and the prize was 150,000 dollars. She was born in San Francisco but can speak Korean – Busan dialect, in particular – as she spent early years from the age of two to six in her father’s hometown Busan. Her Korean name is Kang Hyo-rim.

The Drive On Championship, which was newly launched this year, was the first LPGA tournament that has been suspended since February due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Kang was two under par with three birdies and one bogey and became the first champion of the event.

Kang kept her lead of one-shot by finishing the tournament with a par in hole 18. As Boutier in the same group had her second shot one meter away from the pin, overtime was expected. However, as Boutier lost her shot at a birdie, Kang’s win was confirmed.

Kang thanked her coach Butch Harmon and Annika Sorenstam. Harmon, a former teacher of Tiger Woods, has been coaching Kang exclusively since 2018. “Harmon encouraged me to practice with a 3-wood, which I did not like in the past. I used a 3-wood a lot this time and the results were great. Harmon also gives advice for the mental side of the game a lot,” said Kang. “It also propelled me to win to play more aggressively as Sorenstam whom I respect very much advised me via text message.”

Yun-Cheol Jeong trigger@donga.com