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Corpuz wins US Women’s Open for first LPGA triumph

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – American Allisen Corpuz captured her first LPGA victory in dramatic fashion on Sunday, firing a three-under par 69 to win the US Women’s Open by three strokes.

The 25-year-old from Honolulu finished 72 holes at Pebble Beach on nine-under 279 to defeat England’s Charley Hull, who fired a final-round 66, and South Korean Shin Ji-yai, who shot 68.

“Unreal. This week has just felt like a dream come true,” Corpuz said. “It has been just awesome to be out at Pebble this week.”

Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, the 54-hole leader, finished with a 76 to share fourth on 285 with American Bailey Tardy while Japan’s Ayaka Furue and South Korean Kim Hyo-joo shared sixth on 286.

Corpuz had shared a major lead at the Chevron Championship earlier this year before settling for fourth, a hint of the promise she made real at the iconic California seaside course where such legends as Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus have hoisted trophies.

Allisen Corpuz plays a shot from a bunker during the final round of the 78th US Women’s Open. PHOTO: AFP

“I’ve played a little conservatively in the past and just went out there and told myself I had the game to do it today,” Corpuz said. “Little nervous at times but pretty comfortable.”

A turning point came at the par-3 12th when leader Corpuz blasted out of a bunker and made a 16-foot par putt while Hataoka missed a five-foot par putt moments later to fall two adrift of the American.

Hull sank a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-5 16th to pull within two on six-under with Hataoka making bogey at 14 to fall back.

Corpuz responded moments later by sinking a seven-foot birdie putt at the par-5 14th and when she added another from four feet at 15, she reached 10-under and surged ahead of Hull by four shots.

Corpuz had a bogey at the par-3 17th but still finished as the only player to crack par in all four rounds.

“Every few holes I just looked out and said I’m at Pebble Beach, there’s not many places that are better than this,” Corpuz said. “So really just tried to stay grounded and keep playing my game.”

Corpuz made a five-foot birdie putt on the opening hole, saved par with a 10-foot putt at the par-5 second, followed with a 12-foot birdie at the third, then missed a six-foot par putt to bogey the fourth after missing the green with her approach.

She sank a birdie putt from just outside 10 feet at the par-3 seventh, missed the green on her approach and took a bogey at the ninth, then answered at 10 with a birdie putt from just inside nine feet.

Hull had six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle in her 66, the day’s low round.

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