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Most of the pre-tournament headlines had focused on Rose Zhang but, in the end, it was another 20-year-old that walked away with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Ruoning Yin carded a bogey-free 67 to hold of former US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso and win the second women’s major of the year at Baltusrol.
A birdie at the last proved crucial for the Chinese star who claimed her second LPGA title of the year.
Carlota Ciganda and Anna Nordqvist were a further shot adrift in a tie for third alongside Megan Khang, Xiyu Lin and Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow, with Zhang – bidding to maintain her 100% winning start to life as a professional – in a tie for eighth on five-under.
Overnight leader Leona Maguire had a disappointing Sunday, closing with a 74 to finish just outside the top-10.
The day, however, belonged to Yin.
“It means a lot, but it still feels unreal right now,” she said. “Before today, I didn’t even think about it. After nine holes when we were at the clubhouse, I started thinking about, oh, maybe I have a chance to win this championship.”
With her victory, Yin becomes the second golfer from China to win a major, following Shanshan Feng who won this same event in 2012.
Yin hopes that her success will help to push golf to new heights in her homeland.
“It means a lot,” she added. “I’m glad that I can be the second Chinese player after Shanshan won a major. Like I said after LA Open, I think it’s going to push a lot of kids to play golf. We kind of all want to push China golf to move to the next step, and I think we’re doing good.”
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