China’s Ruoning Yin, 20, birdies final hole to win KPMG Women’s PGA

China’s Ruoning Yin, 20, birdies final hole to win KPMG Women’s PGA
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Ruoning Yin put on a ball-striking clinic all weekend and then rolled in a 10-footer for birdie on her 72nd hole to win her first major championship.

The 20-year-old Yin hit her final 37 greens in regulation, including her last 18 as part of a bogey-free, 3-under 68 that allowed her to capture the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship by a shot over Yuka Saso on Sunday on the newly restored Lower Course at Baltusrol in Springfield Township, New Jersey.

Yin’s victory marked just the second major triumph by a Chinese player, following Shanshan Feng’s win at this championship in 2012.

Saso, the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open champion who had missed four straight major cuts entering this week, got up and down for birdie from the left bunker at the par-5 18th hole to shoot 66 and post 7 under to put some pressure on Yin, who was playing in the group behind her.

Rose Zhang’s bid for her first major championship title – and second win in as many starts since turning professional – fell just short. The 20-year-old Stanford product, who earlier this month won the Mizuho Americas Open in her pro debut just down the road at Liberty National, played her first 11 holes in 5 under and was just a shot off the lead before pulling her tee shot at the par-3 16th hole and carding bogey.

Zhang parred the closing pair of par-5s to shoot 4-under 67 to end up T-8 at 5 under.

Like Zhang, Yin won in her professional debut, prevailing on the China LPGA Tour in 2020. She then won in each of her next two starts that year before earning her LPGA card last season via Q-Series. After notching just one top-10 in 16 starts as an LPGA rookie, Yin now has three top-10s, including two wins; she won the DIO Implant LA Open earlier this year.

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