Stephanie Meadow secures top 10 finish at JTBC Classic

Atthaya Thitikul, still only 19, shoots impressive 64 to win playoff in California

Ireland's Stephanie Meadow claimed the sixth top 10 finish of her career after a final round 70 at the JTBC Classic in California.

She finished 10-under-par overall, six strokes off Atthaya Thitikul and Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen who contested a playoff. Thai 19-year-old Thitikul defeated Madsen on the second playoff hole to win her first LPGA Tour title.

Meadow picked up $29,038 (€26,422) for her efforts. Leona Maguire paid the price for a disappointing front nine - which included double bogeys on the fifth and eighth holes - closing with a two over par 74. That left her four under overall.

Thitikul fired an eight-under-par 64 in the final round to catch Madsen and force the playoff. It was the lowest round at Aviara Golf Club all week.

Madsen entered Sunday with a three-stroke lead but only managed a two-under 70. Her birdie at the Par 5 17th hole moved her into sole possession of the lead at 17 under, but she bogeyed the 18th to fall back into a tie with Thitikul at 16 under.

They replayed the 18th hole twice. After both parred the first time through, Madsen’s second shot on the second playoff hole found the water, leading her to a double bogey.

Thitikul tapped in a short bogey putt to win, becoming the youngest winner on tour since Canadian star Brooke Henderson won the 2016 Cambria Portland Classic as an 18-year-old.

Rookie

“Anyone (who comes) here, they want to win,” Thitikul said. “I want to win as well, but didn’t expect (it would) come really fast, in my rookie year as well. It’s just crazy in my mind right now. I cannot believe that I became an LPGA winner.”

Thitikul’s round featured nine birdies and just one bogey. Five birdies came on the back nine, including at the 16th and 17th.

It was just the fifth start of Thitikul’s rookie season, though the youngster had previous success in Europe, winning Player of the Year honours on the Ladies European Tour last season.

Madsen earned her maiden win on tour at the Honda LPGA Thailand earlier this month and was vying for back-to-back titles.

“It wasn’t a very good playoff,” Madsen said. “Yeah, I played a good week and I’m happy with the game. I could have maybe have done a little better today, but it was what I could do.”

Na Rin An of South Korea carded a final-round 68 to finish 15 under, alone in third. Thailand’s Pajaree Anannarukarn, Canada’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc and world No. 1 Jin Young Ko of South Korea all shot 68 and tied for fourth at 14 under.

Charley Hull (69) was seventh at 12 under, and defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea (68) and Lilia Vu (70) tied for eighth at 11 under.

Collated final scores and totals (USA unless stated, Par 72)

272 Atthaya Thitikul (Tha) 69 70 69 64 (won at the second extra play-off hole), Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den) 66 67 69 70

273 Nam-Rin Ant (Kor) 69 67 69 68

274 Jin-Young Ko (Kor) 65 71 70 68, Pajaree Anannarukarn (Tha) 68 69 69 68, Maude-Aimee Leblanc (Can) 68 68 70 68

276 Charley Hull (Eng) 69 70 68 69

277 In-Bee Park (Kor) 71 68 70 68, Lilia Vut 71 71 65 70

278 Amy Yang (Kor) 72 69 69 68, Stephanie Meadow (Irl) 69 72 67 70

279 Lydia Ko (Nzl) 68 67 74 70, In-Gee Chun (Kor) 69 72 67 71, Ryann O’Toole 68 75 67 69, Chella Choi (Kor) 72 70 70 67

280 Nasa Hataoka (Jpn) 70 69 68 73, Moriya Jutanugarn (Tha) 69 72 68 71, Lizette Salas 72 72 71 65, Xiyu Lin (Chn) 70 71 71 68, Allison Emrey 72 71 69 68, Janie Jackson 70 68 69 73, Alana Uriell 69 73 68 70

281 Min-Jee Lee (Aus) 69 71 70 71, Hyo-Joo Kim (Kor) 73 67 71 70, Mina Harigae 73 70 69 69, Austin Ernst 72 71 68 70, Brittany Altomare 71 68 69 73, Alison Lee 69 72 71 69, Cheyenne Knight 67 73 72 69, Paula Reto (Rsa) 72 71 68 70, Annie Park 72 70 71 68

282 Hee-Jeong Lim (Kor) 73 70 70 69, Yealimi Noh 71 69 71 71, Mo Martin 68 74 70 70, Lauren Coughlin 71 70 69 72, Ayaka Furue (Jpn) 72 71 68 71, Hye-Jin Choi (Kor) 67 68 72 75

283 Alexis Thompson 73 70 70 70, Anna Nordqvist (Swe) 71 71 69 72, Jeong-Eun Lee (Kor) 71 72 70 70, Gemma Dryburgh (Sco) 67 76 68 72

284 Danielle Kang 69 74 70 71, Leona Maguire (Irl) 69 70 71 74, Jenny Shin (Kor) 76 68 71 69, A-Lim Kim (Kor) 75 69 68 72, Emma Talley 69 74 69 72, Marina Alex 73 71 71 69, Pernilla Lindberg (Swe) 73 68 68 75, Kelly Tan (Mal) 72 70 70 72, Sanna Nuutinen (Fin) 73 70 71 70

285 Jessica Korda 69 70 73 73, Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha) 71 70 70 74, In-Kyung Kim (Kor) 69 73 67 76, Yae-Eun Hong (Kor) 71 73 69 72, Emily Kristine Pedersen (Den) 71 70 72 72, Frida Kinhult (Swe) 71 73 72 69, Haylee Harford 71 70 72 72, Kaitlyn Papp 77 67 67 74

286 Jeon-Geun Lee (Kor) 70 74 66 76, Hannah Green (Aus) 73 69 74 70, Sophia Popov (Ger) 73 70 74 69, Jennifer Coleman 72 70 73 71, Jaye Marie Green 71 72 73 70, Muni He (Chn) 70 71 69 76

287 Madelene Sagstroem (Swe) 71 70 74 72, Eun-Hee Ji (Kor) 70 73 71 73, Isabell Gabsa (Ger) 72 72 70 73

288 Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha) 69 75 72 72, Morgane Metraux (Swi) 71 72 72 73, Katherine Kirk (Aus) 71 73 72 72

290 Stacy Lewis 70 73 74 73

291 Sarah Schmelzel 70 72 73 76, Cristie Kerr 72 72 74 73, Gerina Piller 70 72 76 73, Pornanong Phatlum (Tha) 72 72 73 74, Katherine Perry 71 73 76 71, Stephanie Kyriacou (Aus) 73 69 71 78, Hinako Shibuno (Jpn) 71 72 68 80

292 Ji-Won Jeon (Kor) 76 68 73 75

293 Dewi Weber (Ned) 71 73 75 74

295 Jennifer Song 72 72 75 76

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