Gaby Lopez won her first LPGA Tour event Saturday, firing a one-over-par round of 73 to finish one shot ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn in the Blue Bay tournament in Hainan Island, China.
Lopez had bogeys on the last two holes at the Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club and almost let the title slip away. She finished at eight-under 280.
Playing in a group with Lopez, No. 1-ranked Jutanugarn had a birdie on the final hole to also shoot 73.
Celine Boutier shot a 66 and finished two shots off the lead.
Lopez said she was thinking of her grandfather, Jose Lopez, who died recently.
“I always told him that I was going to give him my first trophy,” Lopez said. “Sadly, I didn’t, but he was with me all week long and I couldn’t be more lucky, more fortunate to have him still alive in me.”
Lopez turned 25 on Friday and had a hole-in-one in the third round, which turned out to be the difference.
The tournament wrapped up five straight weeks of play for the LPGA in Asia.
Sergio Garcia leads in South Africa
Sergio Garcia leads by two strokes going into the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa, and is on course for a wire-to-wire win at the penultimate event of the European Tour season.
Garcia improved his one-shot overnight lead over Louis Oosthuizen, although the gap would have been bigger if not for a two-shot swing Oosthuizen’s way on the final hole of the third round on Saturday.
Garcia bogeyed No. 18 for the second straight round after sending his approach into the grandstand. He signed for a one-under 71 and was 10 under overall. Oosthuizen made birdie on the last to finish with a 72 and two behind Garcia after trailing by four on the last tee.
Thomas Detry, Mikko Korhonen and two-time Nedbank winner Lee Westwood are tied for third, three shots off the lead at seven under.