Finally! Morgan gets her long-awaited maiden title

News & Tour

Becky Morgan won her first title at the age of 44, while Danielle Kang came out on top in Shanghai. Keel Timmins wraps up all the LET and LPGA action

What happened on the LET?

In her 119th start on the Ladies European Tour, Becky Morgan is finally a winner after she landed the Hero Women’s Indian Open title.

The Welshwoman started the day tied for the lead with Ellie Givens and Nicole Broch Larsen, but Morgan assumed control at the turn, taking a one-shot lead into the back-nine on the brutal Gary Player Course at the DLF Golf & Country Club.

Christine Wolf – who had taken a nine on the par-5 18th on Saturday to lose her lead heading into the final round – battled back well and was able to draw level with Morgan coming down the final hole.

But the long 18th inflicted yet more pain on the Austrian, as Wolf hit almost the exact same shot as the previous day – a heavy iron into the water short of the green. This time, Wolf took a double bogey as her title hopes sank.

Playing in the final group, Morgan had no such problems. The 44-year-old hit her approach to the par-5 safely into the back portion of the green, where she two-putted for what proved to be the best day in her 18 years on tour.

“It’s taken me 18 years and it’s a mixture of excitement and relief that finally I have done it. I didn’t look at the scoreboard until the 18th green because I knew anything could happen. I knew I was doing fairly well, because I was playing well, but I kept to myself and let it happen,” said Morgan.

“I decided today I would just play my game and not worry about one anyone else was doing. I had the chance to win here three years ago but got too caught up in what was going on, so I needed to keep my head down.”

What happened on the LPGA Tour?

“Here’s a wedge. Just smash it” Those were the words of Danielle Kang’s caddie, Ollie Brett, as his player seeked to take out pent-up anger on her golf bag after a miserable birdie-free front-nine 37.

A succession of back-nine birdies followed, of which proved to be far more devastating than any such assault on the bag in question.

It all added up to a three-under 69 as Kang, last year’s KPMG Women’s PGA champion, held off an onslaught from Ariya Jutanugarn, Sei Young Kim, Lydia Ko and a whole host of other top-class talents to win the inaugural Buick LPGA Shanghai in China to add to her sole major trophy.

Kang is seeing immediate results from her partnership with Butch Harmon. The 26-year old began working with the world class coach – who famously had Tiger Woods on his books – after she missed three straight cuts, culminating with a missed weekend at the final major of the year, the Evian Championship.

Last week Kang finished tied for third in Korea at the KEB Hana Bank Championship in her first start as part of Harmon’s stable, and now she is in the winner’s circle again for the first time since last July.

“I’ve been through so much just mental struggle that it’s just been emotionally draining all year,” Kang said.

“I’ve had just some anxiety problems for months and months. Honestly, having Ollie on the bag changed a lot and having Butch Harmon work with me.

“The biggest thing that Butch tells me is to stay out of my own way. I just couldn’t do that. If I had a short putt I just kept doubting myself. I couldn’t putt freely.

“The front nine was a little bit rough. For me, wasn’t about the result; it was more so about what I was feeling on the inside and how I was dealing with things. I just needed to overcome all my insecurities and my anxiety.

“After nine holes my caddie told me to step off to the side and he told me, whatever you need to do to let your anger out and restart and refresh, you need to do that now. I told him, I said, cameras are everywhere. I just want to hit the bag really hard. He said, here’s a wedge. Just smash it.

“Honestly, I thank him for that. He told there are a lot birdies out there. I regrouped and we pretended we started the round brand new on the 10th hole. Then things change and momentum started going my way. I started hitting it closer and felt better over the putts and shot 4-under on the back.”

Elsewhere, Sung Hyun Park held on to her World No. 1 status by the narrowest of margins. A. Jutanugarn, Park’s closest competitor, finished tied for second place with six other players. The gap between the two is now fewer than 0.08 points.

England’s Bronte Law also finished inside of the top-10, while Jodi Ewart Shadoff had a hole-in-one on Saturday on her way to a tie for 17th.

What’s next on tour?

The LPGA stays in Asia next week for the Taiwan Championship, while the LET now takes a break for a month before the Open de Espana.

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