Angel Yin wins LPGA Shanghai for first career tour title

by Joanne Miller

On Sunday, American golfer Angel Yin claimed her first tour win by defeating top-ranked player Lilia Vu on the first playoff hole at the LPGA Shanghai tournament. Both Yin and Vu finished with a score of 14-under 274 on the Qizhong Garden Golf Club course, leading to a thrilling playoff. Yin emerged victorious after making a birdie at the par-4 18th hole while Vu narrowly missed her 20-foot birdie putt.

This victory marked a significant milestone for 25-year-old Yin, who secured her first win in her 159th start on the tour. After the match, Yin shared a heartwarming embrace with her compatriot Vu, celebrating her breakthrough win. Reflecting on her achievement, Yin expressed gratitude and acknowledged the challenges of securing a win.

Yin and Maja Stark had held the overnight lead at 12 under, but on Sunday, Yin shot a 70 which included three birdies and a sole bogey. Vu, on the other hand, recorded a 4-under 68 with six birdies and two bogeys, making her the clubhouse leader at 14-under before the playoff. Yin’s birdie on the par-5 17th hole and subsequent par on the final hole forced the playoff that ultimately led to her victory.

Despite her own mistakes during the game, Vu gracefully accepted the outcome, acknowledging that it was Yin’s day to shine. The tournament also saw five players finishing in a tie for third place at 13 under, including Choi Hye-jin from South Korea, Thai duo Pavarisa Yoktuan and Ariya Jutanugarn, Yu Liu, and Esther Henseleit.

One of the overnight leaders, Maja Stark, had a frustrating day, ending with an even-par round and finishing in a tie for eighth place with a score of 12-under 276. Two-time defending champion Danielle Kang of the United States also had a modest performance, finishing five strokes behind Yin in a tie for 17th place with a score of 9 under.

The LPGA Shanghai tournament marked the return of the LPGA Tour to China after a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This event is the first leg of a four-tournament Asia swing, with subsequent stops in South Korea, Malaysia, and Japan.

Angel Yin’s long-awaited victory will undoubtedly serve as a confidence booster for her future endeavors on the tour. As she continues her professional golf journey, Yin will look to build on her breakthrough win and strive for further success in the world of women’s golf.

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