The Japanese world number 11 wins her fifth LPGA title and second of the 2021 season at the golf club where she had her first LPGA win.
After a final-round 67, Nasa Hataoka earned her second title of the season at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G on Sunday. Off in the morning with 36-hole co-leader Minjee Lee and Eun-Hee Ji, Hataoka hung on for her fifth-career LPGA Tour victory and second win in Rogers, Arkansas after becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner in 2018 at Pinnacle Country Club.
Hataoka, who set the tournament record back in 2018 said:
“My first win being here and of course the two holes-in-one, it kind of feels like it's my power spot.
“It was pretty tight, very stressful because the other players were so close to me. The grass type, it matches what I was doing when I was young, and so I'm able to kind of know how it reacts, so that kind of helps me. And so I like this course.”
Nasa Hataoka chased by Lee and Ji
Lee and Ji tied for second at -15. Lee struggled on the front nine, carding two birdies and two bogeys to make the turn four strokes behind Hataoka. The Australian turned it around quick, notching three more birdies to earn her fifth top-five performance of the season. Ji’s round was highlighted by an eagle on No. 14, which put her back in contention, followed by a memorable birdie on the closing hole.
Lee commented on coming close and the approach to a three-day tournament, she said:
“You know, yes. I think I'm very close. It's only a three-day tournament, so you really got to be aggressive, and as some of the girls said, it's not a marathon, it's a sprint. Yeah, I think one of those years it's going to be my week.
“I think coming into the week you're always like, it's a three-day tournament, so you really need to have a good start.”
Yuka Saso back playing
Major champions Yuka Saso and Danielle Kang both recorded six-under-par 65s to finish in a tie for fourth at -14. Saso, who made her first career appearance in Arkansas after a month-long break, ended her weekend on a high note with eagles on seven and 18.
University of Arkansas alumna Stacy Lewis and world number two Jin Young Ko ended in a tie for sixth at -12. Eight players tied for eighth at -11, including 2017 Walmart NW Arkansas champion So Yeon Ryu, who notched a final-round 62 for the round of the week.
The next LPGA event is the Shoprite LPGA Classic Presented by ACER.
Our Women & Golf Tour Ambassador Gemma Dryburgh is currently first reserve.