Danielle Kang outduels Gaby Lopez to win LPGA’s Tournament of Champions

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Sunday featured a pair of aces in the LPGA season opener.

Nelly Korda, ranked No. 1 in the world and playing with Annika Sorenstam, the first-ever World No. 1 when the Rolex Rankings debuted in 2006, led by a shot heading into the final round of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

But in yet another day of drizzly conditions, Korda slid backwards down the leaderboard as she carded a couple of bogeys to go with a bunch of pars before finally managing a birdie on the 15th hole.

In her place stepped Danielle Kang and Gaby Lopez, who made their moves at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club.

Lopez won the 2020 Tournament of Champions at Tranquilo and midway through Sunday’s round, she led by three shots. Undeterred, Kang came on strong late. She birdied the ninth to shoot a 1-under 35, then birdied the 11th and 13th holes.

On No. 14, a fan yelled ‘Get in the hole!’ as Kang was rolling in an 8-foot putt for birdie, her second straight and third in four holes. She punctuated that putt with a fist pump and walked off the green up two shots on Lopez. On No. 15, Kang made a third straight birdie to get to 17 under and go up by three shots. She was up four shots with three to go after Lopez bogeyed the 15th.

Kang gave one back on 16 but parred the final two holes for a 68 to grab her sixth career win and first since winning twice during the 2020 season.

List

See the complete list of LPGA players who have risen to No. 1

Lorena Ochoa
Lorena Ochoa