Meadow grabs top-10 as Thitikul lands maiden LPGA title

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Meadow grabs top-10 as Thitikul lands maiden LPGA title

Stephanie Meadow (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Stephanie Meadow made the most of some fine form at the JTBC Classic in Carlsbad as she carded a 2-under par round of 70 on the final day to ensure a top-10 finish.

The Jordanstown native roared out of the blocks with two birdies in her first four holes before a bogey at the sixth was followed by back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eight which saw her at 11-under par.

Unfortunately she wasn’t able to continue the birdie run and run of pars punctuated by a solitary bogey at the 13th was all she could muster on the back nine but at 10-under she took a 10th place tie alongside Korea’s Amy Yang and with it her best finish of the season.

The 30-year-old believes though that the result is evidence she is trending in the right direction moving forward.

“It’s huge. It’s nice to see some putts roll in. It’s been a very long time since I had a good putting week, so really happy with that,” said Meadow.

“I had a lot of chances on the back (nine). Just didn’t convert, and then two bad shots and then I had bogey. It is what it is. Happy to not kind of compound any mistakes and keep fighting.

“Excited heading into next week. My game is heading in the right direction.”

Leona Maguire had somewhat of a day to forget as she uncharacteristically returned two bogeys and two double bogeys alongside four birdies in a 2-over par final day effort which dropped her down the leaderboard to finish in a T42 place on 4-under par.

At the head of proceedings it took a playoff to decide the overall winner with Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul coming out on top as she ousted Nanna Koerstz Madsen on the second extra hole and at 19 years and 25 days becomes the youngest LPGA Tour winner since Brooke Henderson in 2016.

“It’s just crazy in my mind right now,” Thitikul said. “I cannot believe that I became LPGA winner. It feels amazing as well.”

Madsen, who found water on the second playoff hole to hand the title to Thitikul can have no complaints though, having come through in a playoff for her own first LPGA victory two weeks ago in Thailand.

“It wasn’t a very good playoff,” Koerstz Madsen said. “I played a good week and I’m happy with the game. I could have maybe have done a little better today, but it was what I could do.”

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