A back nine fightback grabs Meadow a top 20 finish at the LOTTE Championship

Peter Finnan

Stephanie Meadow (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Peter Finnan

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Stephanie Meadow admitted she was “proud” of how she steadied the ship on the back-nine of her final round at the LOTTE Championship after a tough front-nine dropped her well out of contention in Hawaii.

The Jordanstown woman entered the final day at Ko Olina in a share of fourth and just four shots back of leader Hyo Joo Kim – who would go on to win the event – but collapsed on her front nine with two double-bogeys and a further three bogeys.

However, she managed to get back on track somewhat on her inward nine with eight pars and one birdie to eventually card a five-over 77 that saw her finish the week at one-under-par and tied for 18th.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on a second top-10 finish in three starts and her best finish since November 2020, Meadow took to social media to express her happiness at how she battled back and is determined to kick on.

“Not the Sunday I was looking for but proud of how I played on the back today,” she wrote on Twitter. “Learning from my mistakes and ready to head to LA. See you next year Hawaii”.

Meanwhile, former Evian champion Kim held off a challenge from Japan’s Hinako Shibuno to lift her fifth LPGA Tour title, the Korean signing for a one-under 71 in her final round which took her to 11-under-par, two shots clear of the rest of the field.

Shibuno had set the clubhouse target at nine-under after a 70 in her final round, and Kim seemed to wobble with a bogey at the 17th, but a closing birdie was enough to get her over the line.

“I have been playing the LOTTE Championship since the inaugural championship, and then because of my sponsor I always wanted to win and do well,” said Kim.

“I prepared a lot for this year’s championship, so it’s all the more meaningful and special for me to win this championship this year.”
Elsewhere, Cavan’s Leona Maguire finished strongly with seven birdies and four bogeys in a three-under 69 that got her back to three-over-par for the tournament and into a share of 48th to end the week.


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