Green retains LPGA Tour JM Eagle LA Championship

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Green retains LPGA Tour JM Eagle LA Championship

Hannah Green won the LPGA Tour’s JM Eagle LA Championship for the second straight year on Sunday, holing out twice from off the greens in a pivotal back-nine stretch at the challenging Wilshire Country Club.

A year after making a 25-foot birdie on the final hole of regulation and winning on the second hole of a playoff, Green, with help from Maja Stark, took the late drama out of this one for her fifth LPGA Tour victory and second of the year.

“It wasn’t as a eventful as the last couple days. I was nervous,” Green said. “And I’ve never been able to win having a lead into the last hole like that, so it is nice to be able to get it done earlier in the round.”

Green closed with a five-under 66 to beat Stark by three strokes. The 27-year-old Australian, also the winner early last month in Singapore, finished at 12-under 272.

Grace Kim, right, sprayed water on Hannah Green in celebration after she won the JM Eagle LA Championship

Image: Grace Kim, right, sprayed water on Hannah Green in celebration after she won the JM Eagle LA Championship

“It’s really kind to me,” Green said about the course. “I felt like a couple times today almost got like a member bounce. I, obviously, really am fond of the golf club and joked that they didn’t approve it with me that they were making alterations. I love it here.”

Green began the key run with a chip-in birdie on the par-3 12th and made a six-foot birdie putt on the par-five 13th.

Then, after Stark bogeyed the par-four 16th two groups ahead, Green ran in a 25-footer for eagle from the fringe on 15 to open a four-stroke lead, and made it five under in five holes with a birdie on 16.

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“When I chipped in on 12 I kind of felt like I really snagged one there,” Green said. “I really like the 13th hole and also played the 15th really well. When I made eagle on 15 that kind of sealed the deal.

“I did see Maja got it to nine under so I know what I needed to do. Usually, I make it really tricky on myself and only win by a shot.”

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Stark finished with a 68, rebounding from the bogey on 16 to birdie the final two holes. The 24-year-old Swede also finished second last week outside Houston in The Chevron Championship, two strokes behind top-ranked Nelly Korda in the first major of the year.

“I’m really proud of the way I’ve played,” Stark said. “I feel like I’ve hit a lot of good shots and I feel like my nerves kind of took over for a little while, but I was always able to get back to the normal – my normal state of mind.”

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Haeran Ryu (69) was third at six under, followed by fellow South Korean players Jin Young Ko (67) and Jin Hee Im (72) at five under.

Grace Kim, four strokes ahead entering weekend after opening rounds of 64 and 66 and tied with Green for the lead after a third-round 76, finished with a 77 to tie for 25th at one under. She failed to make a birdie the final two days.

Korda withdrew from the Los Angeles event Monday, a day after her record-tying fifth straight victory.

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