Lauren Clark finishes strong to claim Citrus Golf Trail victory
Lauren Clark shot a final round 70 at the Sun N' Lake Golf Club to edge Minji Kang by one shot in the Citrus Golf Trail Ladies Invitational. Clark was the only player to finish under par in the event. It took an exceptional closing nine holes for Clark to catch Kang, who led Clark by three shots at the turn.

Clark fired a closing 34, with birdies on holes 10 and 11 and then seven straight pars. Kang dropped two shots coming home, including a bogey on the 17th hole to break the tie between her and Clark. This wasn't Kang's first time in contention in this event, she finished in third place when it was called the Harder Hall in 2020.

Taylor Roberts finished in third place, shooting an impressive 67-71 in the final two rounds to climb the leaderboard.

Clark's tournament started at a sprint, literally. The group ahead of her in the first round had three no shows, and she was asked to tee off and catch up with her.

"I had to run 250 yards down the fairway with my clubs on my back to catch up with her," Clark said with a laugh. "People were pretty surprised that the winner of the event started the tournament that way."

Four rounds can make for a long week, and the tournament also had some fog delays. The final round started two hours late, leaving Clark with a lot of time to kill.

"I like talking to the volunteers. I'll talk about anything other than golf," Clark said. "If I talk to players, I'm in a golf mindset and it's draining."

Clark needed all the energy she could muster as she chased down Kang. An up-and-down for par on the challenging 17th hole was a highlight for Clark.

"I hit a really good chip off a loose sandy lie to about four feet," Clark said. "And a birdie on the eleventh was huge because it was a two shot swing."

Dashes of purple and gold spurred Clark on and made her feel like she had some support out on the course. Her coach was also tracking her from afar, but a text following her third round 74 telling her it was a good try and it was too bad she didn't will made her call him and tell him she had one more round to play. After sharing a laugh, they talked about the opportunity that she still had to win.

Clark is a freshman at LSU, and a native to Orlando, Fla. She enjoyed success in junior golf, winning the 2020 Greenwood Junior Championship and finished ninth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational Junior. She also finished ninth in the 2020 and 2021 Women Florida Women’s Amateur. She was an AGJA Scholastic All-American.

Results: Citrus Golf Trail Ladies Invitational
1FLLauren ClarkOrlando, FL50071-72-74-70=287
2KoreaMinji KangKorea40073-74-68-73=288
3FLTaylor RobertsParkland, FL30074-78-67-71=290
T4NJKatie LiBasking Ridge, NJ30074-74-72-71=291
T4CanadaLauren ZaretskyCanada30073-74-69-75=291

View full results for Citrus Golf Trail Ladies Invitational

ABOUT THE Citrus Golf Trail Ladies Invitational

Formerly known as the Harder Hall Invitational, this is a four-day no cut stroke play tournament for women amateurs. It was played at Harder Hall CC for more than 65 years, but in 2021 it moves to a rotation of courses on the Citrus Golf Trail in Sebring, Florida. The illustrious list of past champions includes the current world #1 Nelly Korda; Hall-of- Famer Joanne Carner; LPGA stars Christie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis and Charley Hull; amateur legends Carol Semple Thompson and Meghan Stasi; and two members of the winning 2021 Curtis Cup Team, Emilia Migliaccio and Gina Kim. It has long drawn an international field and has two Divisions: the Championship Division and the Forever 49 Division (max index 16.4). It is the first of the "Orange Blossom" series of Florida winter tournaments.

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