PGA Tour

Stanford's late charge brings 7th career LPGA title

LPGA logo (Twitter)
LPGA logo (Twitter)

Angela Stanford birdied four of the last six holes on Sunday to win the LPGA Tour's Volunteers of America Classic and snap a two-year victory drought with a two-stroke triumph.

The 43-year-old American fired a four-under par 67 in the final round to finish 72 holes at The Colony in suburban Dallas on seven-under 277.

South Koreans Park In-bee and Ryu So-yeon and US teen rookie Yealimi Noh shared second on 279, the 54-hole co-leaders each shooting 70, with top-ranked Ko Jin-young of South Korea fifth on 280 after a closing 70.

World number 79 Stanford, from nearby Fort Worth, won a shootout in windy conditions.

Stanford captured her seventh LPGA Tour title and her first since she won her first major title at the 2018 Evian Championship.

"After the major, it would have been easy to be satisfied, and I was for a while," Stanford said. "But I don't like bad golf. I worked with my coach and then it was fun to be around."

Stanford made a bogey at the par-4 fourth before reeling off three consecutive birdies starting at the par-5 sixth and she shared the lead with Ko and Park as the last group made the turn.

After stumbling back with a bogey at the par-3 11th, Stanford caught fire.

Stanford birdied the par-5 13th to match Ko for the lead at 5-under then curled in a 15-footer for birdie at the par-4 14th to seize command as Ko missed the elevated 14th green.

Ko stumbles

Ko's third shot rolled back to her feet and she two-putted for double bogey to leave Stanford at 6-under, two atop the pack and three ahead of Ko.

Park birdied the 14th to pull within one but Stanford answered with a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-3 16th to restore her two-stroke advantage.

Stanford rolled in an eight-footer for birdie at the par-5 17th, but missed the green with her approach at 18, then saw her short par putt lip out for a bogey that left Park a slight hope.

When Park couldn't hole her second shot at 18, Stanford secured the victory, which brought tears as it was the first witnessed by her parents and the first in a home event.

"It's pretty cool since my parents have never seen me win in person," Stanford said, her mother having just withstood a battle with cancer. "To have my parents here, that was a pretty big deal.

"A lot of people are going to give me grief because I did it in the Covid year and nobody could come out."

World number 15 Ryu, a two-time major champion, captured this year's Korean Women's Open but was denied her seventh LPGA victory.

Noh, a 19-year-old whose parents are from South Korea, matched her best finish in 20 LPGA starts, a runner-up effort at last year's Portland Classic.

World number five Park, a seven-time major winner, has already won in 2020, taking the Women's Australian Open in February just before the season was halted for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ko was playing in only her second LPGA event of the season after spending most of the year in her homeland.

The event served as the final tune-up for next week's US Women's Open at Houston with the season-ending Tour Championship the following week in Florida.

Leading scores from Sunday's final round of the LPGA Volunteers of America Championship in Dallas, Texas (par-71, USA unless noted):

277 - Angela Stanford 71-69-70-67

279 - Ryu So-yeon (KOR) 72-72-65-70, Park In-bee 72-68-69-70 (KOR), Yealimi Noh 72-66-71-70

280 - Ko Jin-young (KOR) 71-69-70-70

281 - Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 70-68-73-70, Charley Hull (ENG) 68-74-68-71

282 - Lindsey Weaver 71-68-73-70, Kristen Gillman 73-71-66-72

283 - Madelene Sagstrom (SWE) 71-69-71-72

284 - Su Oh (AUS) 73-70-72-69, Brittany Lang 70-71-71-72, Jennifer Kupcho 69-73-70-72, Kelly Tan (MAS) 73-68-71-72, Nasa Hataoka (JPN) 72-69-69-74

285 - Lin Xiyu (CHN) 78-67-70-70, Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) 73-70-71-71, Lee6 Jeong-eun (KOR) 73-73-66-73

286 - Austin Ernst 72-72-73-69, Minjee Lee (AUS) 75-70-71-70, Sarah Kemp (AUS) 75-69-70-72, Linnea Strom (SWE) 71-70-71-74, Jessica Korda 69-69-72-76

287 - Hannah Green (AUS) 75-67-72-73

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