Ha Na Jang Wins Coates Championship Presented by R+L Carriers
Despite the cold and the rain, the second Coates Championship presented by R+L Carriers at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian came to a dramatic and emotional close with Ha Na Jang taking her first LPGA Tour title.
Jang of South Korea wept after dropping a birdie at the par-five 18th hole to win after four second-place finishes last year. But Lydia Ko never fell too far behind during the tournament.
Jang, 25, put her enthusiasm and frustrations on display during Saturday’s intensive play especially as she competed against close friends.
“It’s been affecting me the way I play because they’re competitors and they’re good friends,” she told reporters. “I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I worked very hard, so finally I got there and have the win. From now on, I’m going to be able to relax a little bit more, focus more on upcoming tournaments.”
Rain during Saturday’s marathon play drenched Jang and the other players. She missed a birdie in the tour’s final round until she landed a five-foot shot on the 16th.
Jang started her final 30 holes at dawn Saturday for the third round, but the weather made play increasingly difficult as groundskeepers used leaf blowers to clear puddles on greens.
Lydia Ko started play Saturday tied with Jang, but missed six shots in the final round’s first 13 holes, according to news sources. She was able to get her game back on track with three birdies.
Brook Henderson of Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada, took second in the tour. She finished two shots behind Jang and captured her first LPGA title, according to Calgary Herald. “Starting the day, if I would have finished second, I would have been very happy,” she said. “A couple putts on the back nine kind of cost me, but overall it was a good day, and I’m right in a position where I want to be.”
The Coates Championship presented by R+L Carriers was the LPGA circuit’s second tournament. The next events are in Australia, Thailand and Singapore.