Ruoning Yin became the second Chinese winner in the history of the LPGA Tour, after a close confrontation with England’s Georgia Hall, at the DIO Implant LA Open. Twenty-year-old Yin closed out the final round by scoring a 70 to win by one stroke ahead of Hall, who attempted a birdie on the 18th hole to force a playoff, but was unsuccessful.
Shanshan Feng, who recently withdrew from the Tour, was the only other Chinese champion to win on the LPGA, 10 times.
Ruoning Yin, statements
“This means a lot, not only to me, but also to all of China,” Yin said.
“Shanshan has always been my example. She is definitely the person I admire the most ”. Yin finished -15 at Palos Verdes Golf Club, making six birdies and five bogeys on the final round, in her 20th major Tour appearance.
Hall delivered a final score of 67 shots, making four birdies in a bogey free round. Last week she finished as runners-up to Arizona, losing to Celine Boutier in the playoffs. Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit and South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim tied for third place at -12, with Tavatanakit shooting 65 and Kim shooting 71.
Nelly Korda (67) and Carlota Ciganda (66) close the top5 with a result of -11. This week the LPGA Tour champions travel to California for the DIO Implant LA Open, March 30-April 2. Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates on the Los Angeles coast will host the tournament.
The DIO Implant LA Open made its debut in 2018, marking the return of the LPGA Tour to Los Angeles after more than a decade. The course is often referred to as Southern California’s “Hidden Gem” and has a rich history of both professional and amateur women’s golf events.
For this week’s players, the course will be a par 71 of 5895 yards. The DIO Implant The Open is a 72-hole tournament, with the usual cut after the first 36, and 144 players will take part. The best female golfers in the world will compete for a prize pool of $1,750,000 and 500 points in the CME Globe.
The prize pool, compared to 2022, has increased by $250,000. The last edition was won by the Japanese champion Nasa Hataoka, with a five stroke advantage over the Australian Hannah Green. Other players who have won the DIO Implant LA Open are: Moriya Jutanugarn (2018) and Brooke Henderson (2019 and 2021).
The current defending champion and the 2018 winner will be on the field to try to regain the title also in the 2023 edition. For the second week in a row, a stellar field is expected with seven players in the top 10 of the Rolex Ranking: Lydia Ko, Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko and Atthaya Thitikul.
Also on the court will be four of the top five players in the CME Race to the Globe: Nelly Korda (1), Jin Young Ko (2), Lilia Vu (3) and Maja Stark (5). Anyone who wins in California on Sunday will know they’ve beaten 15 of the top 20 in the world and a dozen Major champions.