Hailey Jones (Ladies National Golf Association Photo)
The final day of the LNGA Championship
was a tug-of-war between Hailey Jones
and Giovanna Fernandez
, with Jones coming out the winner. The front nine saw Jones and Fernandez trading holes back and forth, with Fernandez wrapping up the front nine one shot ahead after a blistering 3-under 32.
The back nine started to turn for Fernandez when she made a bogey on the par-5 No. 13 while Jones birdied to tie up the leaderboard. Jones pulled ahead on No. 15 by making a par on the tough par four.
However, Fernandez wasn’t ready to give up the Championship just yet. Fernandez hit the green on the par-3 No. 16 and two-putted for par. Jones missed the green long and left and failed to get up and down, which tied the contest going to No. 17. Fernandez made a great sand save on the 17th for a par, while Jones made a bogey after a three-putt.
Fernandez stepped onto the par-5 No. 18 tee one shot ahead but then pulled her drive left and ended up out of bounds. After the dramatic tee shot by Fernandez, Jones pulled out a fairway metal to ensure her drive would find the fairway.
“I had an idea where I stood on (No.) 18. I took less than the three wood for my tee shot because I didn’t need to risk anything. Then I was really just focused on getting my (third) shot as close as possible and wanted to make a par or bogey because I knew Gia was struggling.”
Fernandez put her next tee shot into the fairway and then decided to go for the green in two with her fourth shot after Jones safely laid up her third. Fernandez’s wayward fourth shot gave Jones some breathing room, and her third shot found the fringe of the putting surface.
Jones used her putter to attempt the up and down but ultimately ended up with a six, which was still good enough for the win. Jones fired a 3-over 75 on the last day and ended the championship at 1-under. She led wire-to-wire and claimed the George III Champion trophy.
She credits the win to her recent hard work. “I have been working really hard and it’s definitely good to see some low numbers. I definitely know that my game is getting there and coming along.”
Texas A & M Wins The Howell Trophy
The two-person team of Zoe Slaughter and Mia Nixon shot a combined three-day total of 18-over to claim the Howell Team Trophy. The Aggies bested the second-place Ball State University Team by 14 shots. The Aggies will have the honor of taking the trophy to College Station for the next year.
Elizabeth Eberle Wins Junior Medalist
Elizabeth Eberle of Richmond, Kentucky, was the Junior Medalist for the 93rd LNGA Championship firing a 12-over total. Eberle is an incoming freshman at the University of Cincinnati and will have possession of the Dorothy Pease Junior Medalist Trophy for the next year.
Eberle outlasted Nicole Johnson on the last day. Johnson, who finished at 13-over is from Edwardsville, Illinois and is an incoming freshman at Middle Tennessee State University.
ABOUT THE LNGA Amateur
The inaugural event, held in 1927 at Blue Hills
Country Club in Kansas City, Mo. set off decades
of successful tournament across the United
States, conducted by an organization then
named the Missouri Valley Women's Golf
Association. A year later, the name became the
Women's Trans-Mississippi Golf Association,
evolving into the Women's Trans National Golf
Association by 1953 to include all states before
changing to the Ladies National
Golf Association in 2019. This
54-hole stroke play event spans the nation and
has been hosted at some of the country finest
including Persimmon Ridge in Kentucky,
Stonewall Links in Pennsylvania, and Eugene
Country Club in Oregon.
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