Kang holds on for one-shot win at Drive On Championship

Ross Houston
August 5, 2020

"And you have got to respect the golf course".

A flawless, six-under-par round propelled Danielle Kang into a first-round lead at the LPGA's inaugural Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio, heading into Saturday one stroke ahead of Jodi Ewart Shadoff. I didn't have to rush and cram for a test.

Boutier missed a four-foot birdie putt on the last hole that would have forced a play-off at the Inverness Club. She had a bogey, a double-bogey and three birdies, including one at the 18th, with all the action coming on the back nine.

World number four Kang (66), who won the Women's PGA Championship in 2017, put up six birdies and told reporters she was happy to be back in competition after not working with her caddie for six months.

Boutier had a chance at a birdie to force a playoff, but her putt lipped off the left edge and she settled for par and second place.

"It was definitely something that I was purposeful about, playing within like a decent amount of range before the first tournament on the LPGA so I wasn't too rusty before I started", Boutier said. The Frenchwoman closed with a 71.

The comeback event, played without spectators on the host course for next year's Solheim Cup team matches between USA and European teams, was played ahead of next week's LPGA Marathon Classic in nearby Sylvania so players could stay in the same area for both events, easing concerns about contracting the deadly virus.

The 27- year-old American declared her 4th LPGA Tour title, as the Tour resumed after the shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a two-under 70 in the last round to complete on seven-under 209 after 54 holes at Inverness in Ohio.

Australian Minjee Lee (70) was third on 212, Japan's Yui Kawamoto (72) fourth on 213 and Ewart Shadoff fifth on 214 after a closing 75. Even after the bogey on the 13th dropped her to 7 under, Kang said she set a target of finishing at 10 under. She didn't have to. It is not clear if they will travel to Scotland for the Women's British Open.

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