Caroline Masson wins Manulife LPGA Classic
On a day when the leader board was filled with big names and scoring was at a premium, Caroline Masson earned her first LPGA tour event in her four year on tour. She finished one shot ahead of Karine Icher, Minjee Lee and Mi-Hyang Lee. Two shots behind were Suzann Pettersen, Ariya Jutanugarn and Lydia Ko.
Masson started the day with a double bogey but quickly kicked it into gear. She birdied the next three before stumbling a bit with a bogey on the fifth hole. After a birdie and two pars, Caroline Masson ran a string of four consecutive birdies. Following a bogey on the par four 13th, Masson played the final five in a steady, but not spectacular one under par. In the club house at 16 under par, Masson had to wait to see if her total would hold up.
Karine Icher, who finished tied for second, made a charge on the back nine. After a bogey at 10, Icher birdied the 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th. Her final round of 66 was tied for the second best round of the day.
Ariya Jutanugarn, who had won two straight and five times this season, came up to the 18th needing a birdie to tie. Following a pull-hooked drive into the woods, Jutanugarn finished with a bogey to drop into a tie for fifth at 14-under par. Masson had to wait for Mi-Hyang Lee, who also had a chance to tie heading to the 18th. After a solid drive and approach, Lee had an uphill putt from around 20 feet to tie. Her put finished short and right and Caroline Masson earned her first victory on the LPGA tour.
Number one player in the world Lydia Ko shot a four-under par round to tie Jutanugarn, the second ranked player in the world. Also with a chance earlier was Suzann Pettersen, who shot a final round of 66, landing in the tie with Ko and Jutanugarn. Pettersen also had an opportunity on the last hole, but she suffered the same fate as Jutanugarn.
The round of the day went to Jaye Marie Green, who secured her best finish of the season. Her clean seven-under par round landed her in a tie for 26th.
The LPGA heads to The Evian Championship in France from September 15 through the 18th for the final major of the season. Lydia Ko is the defending champion.