Oct 26th, 2020
Birthday win for McDonald in Greensboro
American takes LPGA Drive On Championship
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
McDonald partnered with Kang and rookie Bianca Pagdanganan of the Phillipines in the final group had a solitary birdie on the front nine. Still, it was enough to give her a two shot lead over her playing partners at the turn.
The woman from Mississippi looked to be in control after three consecutive birdies from the 10th tee saw her open up a four shot lead on Kang. However, when she bogeyed the 13th hole and Kang birdied both the 13th and 14th the lead was down to just one shot.
Kang's momentum was brought to a halt when she dropped a shot at the 15th hole and when McDonald rolled in her nine-foot birdie putt at the 16th the lead was out to three shots. Although McDonald bogeyed the 17th hole Kang needed an eagle at the long 18th to force a playoff.
Kang almost pulled off the miracle when her third shot at the last nearly pitched straight in the hole before jumping forward and spinning back over the edge of the hole. Kang would have to settle for a birdie and McDonald calmly took the two putts that she needed to take the title.
"I've never doubted my ability, but I've definitely questioned whether I would be able to win out here. It's really hard to win out here," said McDonald.
"So I've just really hung in there and tried to stick to my process since day one. That was able to get me in the winner's circle today. I'm really thankful."
Pagdanganan, playing in her first final grouping was a spectator as McDonald and Kang battled it out. The 22-year-old parred the first sixteen holes before coming alive with birdies on the 17th and 18th to take sole possession of third place on fourteen-under.
Mina Harigae of America and Spain's Carlota Ciganda shared the fourth spot after rounds of 67 and 69 respectively.
Ariya Jutanguarn and Katherine Kirk had their best finishes of the season tied for sixth place at eleven-under. Last week's Symetra Tour champion Matilda Castren, multiple winner Lydia Ko and Brittany Altomare rounded out the top 10 in a tie for eighth place at ten-under.
England's Mel Reid, who won three weeks ago at the ShopRite LPGA Classic had another excellent showing finishing in a tie for eleventh on nine-under following a closing 69.