Hannah Green secures her first win in over three years after a three way play-off in LA. Plus Bregman also returns to the winner's circle.

As the sun set at Wilshire Country Club, it was Australia’s Hannah Green hoisting the trophy in the shadow of the Hollywood Sign, once again a winner on the LPGA Tour after surviving a gritty three-hole play-off.

Green began the day at seven-under-par and two back of 54-hole leader Cheyenne Knight and made 14 consecutive pars to open the final round. She finally broke through on the par-5 15th with a birdie to move to eight-under-par, two back of then-leader Ruoning Yin, who had blitzed her way to the top with six birdies on the card.

Yin ultimately faltered, bogeying the last two holes to post at eight-under-par alongside Ayaka Furue, and all of a sudden Green was in a five-way tie for the lead with Yin, Furue, 36-hole leader Aditi Ashok and Xiyu Lin.

Lin and Ashok came to the 18th both needing a birdie to post the new clubhouse benchmark, and both came up clutch, sticking their tee shots inside 10 feet and burying their birdie putts to finish tied at nine-under-par overall.

As the penultimate group made their way to the last, Green needed a birdie to get to nine-under-par and into the play-off, which the 26-year-old duly converted, draining the lengthy putt, sending herself, Lin and Ashok back to the 18th tee.

Ashok bowed out early, hitting it to approximately 15ft and missing the birdie putt while Green and Lin stuck their tee shots inside 10ft, both making their short birdie putts. On the second play-off hole, Lin’s tee shot found the bunker and she splashed it out to nearly the same spot Green putted from in regulation. Advantage to Green, whose tee shot comfortably found the putting surface. Green cosied her birdie putt to within two feet, and after Lin missed her putt for par, it was an easy cleanup for the Aussie, who earned her third career LPGA Tour title and first since the 2019 Portland Classic.

“I said the first one was important, obviously a major championship. I said the second one was nearly just as big because then I proved to everyone and myself that I could back it up. But I think honestly this one is really important because I feel like this is just going to kick start remembering learning to win,” said Green, who captured her major title at the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. “It's tough to win golf tournaments. Sometimes you can play your best golf and it not be good enough. You've just got to hang in there. I think this is honestly just as big as the first two.”

Green has finished inside the top five in her previous two appearances at Wilshire Country Club, coming up just short here last year to 2022 DIO Implant LA Open champion Nasa Hataoka.

While winning is sweet, finally getting it done at this venue made it even more so for Green. “The members have been amazing to me here,” said Green, who was the only player to post all four rounds in the 60s. “It's such a special place, to play here in LA and have so many people come out. I'm really excited to come back and defend and hopefully keep putting my name on the trophy.”

Ashok and Lin both earned their best results of the 2023 season with their runner-up finishes, with Lin taking home her fourth second place in her last 26 starts. Furue and Yin ended up in a tie for fourth at eight-under-par with Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 1 Nelly Korda, rookie Hae Ran Ryu and LPGA Tour winner Knight tied for seventh at seven-under-par. Thailand’s Jaravee Boonchant and UCLA alum Alison Lee round out the top 10, tied for ninth at six-under-par.

Next up is the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Bregman also returns to the winner’s circle

Report by The Sunshine Ladies Tour

Stacy Bregman sank a curling 20-footer for birdie on the first play-off hole on Saturday to celebrate her first win in over five years as she took the inaugural Standard Bank Ladies Open at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington’s West Course.

Bregman narrowly missed a birdie putt to win it from Lee-Anne Pace from a nearly identical position in regulation play, but it was a perfectly judged effort in the play-off as she beat Pace to break a victory drought which had lasted five years and three months.

“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “It’s been a while, and I’ve had a couple of tough years, and that makes this really special.”

The play-off happened when Pace pulled off a trademark birdie-birdie finish in regulation play to close out a final round of three-under-par 69. Bregman had to fight off the nerves after holding the 36-hole lead. She made bogeys on the fourth and again, crucially, on the 13th, as she signed for a closing level-par 72.

“I had said to Neal Herman, my caddie, that we were just going to go out there and have a bit of fun,” said Bregman. “That’s because I haven’t been the best on the golf course attitude-wise. I just tried to change my attitude a bit, which has obviously helped. Everyone has said for a long time that I need to do that, and I think it eventually clicked.

“I also just backed myself a little bit more than I have been. Sometimes when you’re struggling, you forget that you can play this game. I know I can, and I proved it to myself this weekend. I came out with the victory and I’m very proud of myself.”

It wasn’t just that personal pressure and the knowledge that Pace was in pursuit that she had to deal with.

Rookie Kiera Floyd put up a doughty challenge and her power off the tee putting her in positions that gave her plenty of opportunities. She got it to five-under through 11 holes, and, with enough holes ahead of her, including the par-five 18th, she had every right to expect to push for a win.

But a bogey on 12, and pressing just a little too hard, left her one-stroke out of the play-off in third place on four-under. Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia and Cara Gorlei finished a further stroke back in joint fourth.

Bregman was really pleased with the opportunity Standard Bank presented with the new tournament on the Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule. “Without sponsors like Standard Bank, women’s golf in South Africa wouldn’t be where it is today,” she said. “There are so many up-and-coming amateurs, young pros that have been given a real chance to compete when they didn’t have anything outside the six tournaments at the beginning of the year. I think you’re going to see the level of women’s golf in South Africa really rise.”

Reigning SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion Samantha Whateley took the amateur honours on four-over-par 220. The Country Club Johannesburg golfer finished in a tie for 11th with Lora Assad after posting rounds of 75, 71 and 74.

First Epson Tour victory for Vilaubi

Report by the Epson Tour

Former University of California, Riverside Highlander, Savannah Vilaubi took home the Copper Rock Championship trophy in dramatic fashion, winning in a two-hole, three-person play-off with Jenny Coleman and Therese Warner.

Vilaubi fired three straight under-par rounds to end the tournament at 15-under-par. A final-round 69 and a bogey on the second play-off hole helped secure her first Epson Tour victory on Saturday.

The California native started the first round by breaking the course record and never looked back. With her boyfriend making a surprise and short-lived appearance on the bag, Vilaubi became the first player of 2023 to go wire-to-wire to capture a title.

“I’m very grateful that my boyfriend drove out and caddied for me last minute, so I had someone to talk to, someone to bounce ideas off of, and someone to keep the belief in me," said Vilaubi. "The whole vibe of the day was to stay patient and diligent, and I had this deep seeded belief since yesterday.”

Despite the slow start to the round, Vilaubi stayed true to her game plan and stayed patient and played simple. The 29-year-old was able to fire off five birdies on her back nine to force the playoff in front a rowdy crowd in Hurricane.

“There’s not added pressure, there’s added energy,” said Vilaubi. “It felt electric to have the spectators and the grandstands on 9 and 18; there was a tangible energy around the golf course this week and we’re really fortunate that Copper Rock puts on such an amazing event with the Epson Tour.”

After a push on the first play-off hole, Vilaubi was able to make the least amount of mistakes on the second play-off hole, despite finishing with a three-putt at take home the trophy.

“My first win on the Epson Tour, it feels amazing,” said Vilaubi. “I’m on cloud nine right now; this is absolutely unreal.”

This week the Epson Tour goes to Kansas for the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes.

Finau holds off Rahm in Mexico

Tony Finau never relinquished his two shot lead during the final day of the Mexico Open, showing why he has won five of his six PGA Tour titles in the last 20 months.

World Number one and defending champion Jon Rahm had looked like he would push Finau on the final day after bogey free 10-under-par round on Saturday but the American proved too strong to beat.

A final round of five-under-par saw 33-year-old win by three shots from Rahm, with Brandon Wu a further two shots behind.

"He is the best - he's on top of the world right now. I knew I was going to have my hands full with him all the way to the end.

"I didn't know this golf tournament was mine until I just hit the 18th green here. It's crazy how this game is. You never think you have a tournament won until it's over."

The Masters Champion was very complimentary of Finau’s play:

"It's a great reminder that what you've done means absolutely nothing, you still have to go out there and do it. It's also good so you don't think too much of yourself, right?

"Like, obviously I wanted to win, but it's a reminder that everybody out here is a great player and Tony came out with a two-shot lead and played fantastic golf.

"I feel like had I been able to pressure him a little more, we would have seen more birdies from Tony."

Next is the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Eighth DP World Tour victory for Larrazabal

It was an eighth DP World Tour title for Pablo Larrazabal as he secured his first win of the season at the Korea Championship.

After having to return early on Sunday morning to finish the final two holes of his third round, the 39-year-old finished with a bogey to start his final round at seven-under-par.

The Spaniard didn’t let that affect him as he carded two birdies on the front nine. A bogey on the 10th was followed by four birdies to help him shoot a final round 67 at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea to win by two shots at 12-under-par.

Marcus Helligkilde, who carded a final-round 68, finished in solo second whilst Scotland's Scott Jamieson, Sanghyun Park, Jorge Campillo and Joost Luiten tied for third at nine-under-par.

The DP World Tour now moves to Italy for a first look at the Ryder Cup venue Marco Simone which is hosting the DS Automobiles Italian Open.