Japan's Hataoka wins LA Open for sixth LPGA title

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Japan's Nasa Hataoka celebrates a birdie on the way to a five-shot victory in the LPGA LA Open (AFP/Michael Owens) (Michael Owens)
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Nasa Hataoka fired an eagle and four birdies in a four-under par 67 on Sunday to notch her sixth career LPGA title at the LA Open.

Japan's Hataoka, who led by four entering the final round, finished with a 15-under total of 269.

That was one shot off the tournament record set by Canadian Brooke Henderson last year and gave her a five-stroke triumph over Australian Hannah Green, who carded a closing 68 for 274.

It was a particularly satisfying victory, coming a week after Hataoka missed the cut at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

The 23-year-old had four birdies and a bogey in the first seven holes at Wilshire Country Club.

She drilled a 35-foot eagle putt at the par-four 15th to lead by six shots so that a closing bogey was barely a blip.

"That eagle really helped me kind of relax a little bit, kind of feel like I was putting really good today," Hataoka said. "Putting-wise, poa annua greens are really difficult to play, but my experience on this type of green helped me a lot."

Although Green wasn't able to apply much pressure on Sunday, the Australian was pleased to finish with a solid round.

"Definitely, really happy with how things are trending," She said. "It was nice to be a bit more consistent. Last week I got off to a great start and then just couldn't maintain it in Hawaii.

"So, I feel like once I get the putter hot, I'm pretty excited to see what's to come."

Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom had five birdies without a bogey in a 66 that put her tied for third on 277 alongside 2019 LA champion Minjee Lee of Australia, who carded a 68, and South Korean star Park In-bee, who closed with a 70.

World number one Ko Jin-young, who was tied atop the leaderboard with Hataoka on Saturday before a late quadruple bogey, closed with a four-over par 75 that left her tied for 21st.

bb/caw

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