Ruoning Yin of China parlayed her first 36- and 54-hole leads into her first LPGA victory.
Yin, 20, shot 68-63-67-71 for a 1-shot victory at 15 under Sunday at the Dio Implant LA Open at Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates, California, fending off England’s Georgia Hall.
Yin turned pro at age 17 on the China LPGA and promptly won her first three events there. Now she’s a winner on the LPGA. She is the second golfer from China to win, joining Shanshan Fang.
There was almost a playoff for the second time in seven days on the LPGA. Up a shot, Yin had a 25-footer for birdie on 18 that would’ve iced it but lipped it out. The door was open for Hall to force a playoff for the second straight week but her six-foot birdie slid past the hole on the left. After making her par, Yin then closed it out with a par of her own to win by one.
At 20 years, 6 months and 5 days, Yin is the youngest winner on the LPGA since Atthaya Thitikul at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship last season at age 19 years, 7 months, 5 days.
She earned $262,500 for her win.
Patty Tavatanakit and Hyo Joo Kim tied for third at 12 under. Carlota Ciganda and Nelly Korda tied for fifth at 11 under. Danielle Kang, who withdrew last week at the LPGA Drive On Championship and was later hospitalized, returned to action and tied for seventh at 10 under.
Jin Young Ko tied for 25th at 4 under. World No. 1 Lydia Ko tied for 34th at 3 under. Rookie Lucy Li, who shot 76-76 last week to finish last in the 144-gofler field, shot 67-73-6673 to post a tie for 18th.
Yin is the second first-time winner in 2023, joining Lilia Vu. Golfers from five countries have now won the five LPGA events this season: Yin (China), Celine Boutier (France), Brooke Henderson (Canada), Jin Young Ko (Korea) and Vu (U.S.).
There’s just one more event until the first LPGA major of 2023. The Lotte Championship in Hawaii in two weeks is the final tune-up for the 2023 Chevron Championship (April 20-23), which has moved from Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, to its new home at The Club at Carlton Woods near Houston.