MIAMI: Madelene Sagstrom earned her first career USLPGA Tour title on Sunday (Monday in Manila) with a closing round of two-under 70 to capture the Gainbridge LPGA by one stroke.
The 27-year-old turned pro in 2016 and won in her 69th start on the LPGA Tour, edging out runner-up Nasa Hataoka of Japan and finishing with a 17-under 271 total.
Hataoka shot a final round three-under 69 to finish alone in second.
American Danielle Kang closed with a 69 for sole possession of third at 15-under while Celine Boutier (70) was two strokes back in fourth with a 13-under 275. South Korea’s Kim Sei-Young (73) rounded out the top five by finishing at 11-under, six strokes back of Sagstrom.
Sagstrom became the 12th different player from Sweden to win on the LPGA Tour and the first to win since Pernilla Lindberg won the 2018 ANA Inspiration.
She had shot a third-round 67 to seize a 54-hole lead for the first time in her young career.
The three-time Symetra Tour winner got off to a rocky start Sunday at the Boca Rio Golf Club course with bogeys on two of her first four holes.
“It doesn’t matter how you start,” Sagstrom said. “If you just continue fighting, things can go your way. And I just told myself, ‘Keep fighting, keep fighting.’”
She got her putter going with a birdie on the par-five eighth hole, the fourth straight day she birdied the hole.
Sagstrom then rolled in two straight birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 to get to 16-under. She drained her fourth and final birdie of the day on the par-three 17.
She won by parring the final hole as Hataoka missed a three footer on 18.
Hataoka finished with five birdies and two bogeys. He second bogey came on the par-four 18 which prevented her from getting into a playoff.
“Missing the win gives me more motivation to keep on going for the next many tournaments coming,” Hataoka said.
Kang shot a bogey-free 69 that included back-to-back birdies in the middle of her front nine.