Nomura tops Swinging Skirts

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Nomura tops Swinging Skirts

DALY CITY, Calif. - Haru Nomura held on in strong wind to win the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic on Sunday for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year.

The 23-year-old Japanese player closed with a 1-over 73 in wind gusting to 35 miles per hour at Lake Merced to finish at 9-under 279 and beat South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace by four strokes.

Nomura won the Australian Women’s Open in February, pulling away to beat top-ranked Lydia Ko by three strokes for her first LPGA Tour title.

After birdieing the par-5 sixth to reach 11 under, Nomura bogeyed four of the next five holes. She rebounded with a speeding 70-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th, added another birdie on 14 and offset a bogey on 16 with a birdie on 17.

Nomura was projected to jump from 36th to 23rd in world ranking. She joined Ko and Jang Ha-na as the only two-time winners this season.

The Japanese player had a rules scare Saturday. After her third-round 71, she met with rules officials to examine her play from an awkward stance on a slope in a bunker on the par-5 sixth hole. The officials decided no penalty was warranted for building a stance, leaving her with a par instead of a double bogey.

Pace finished with a 74.

Ko shot a 75 on her 19th birthday to tie for sixth at 1 under. The New Zealander won the tournament the previous two years.

Gerina Piller and Choi Na-yeon tied for third at 4 under. Piller shot a 73, and Choi had a 75. Piller’s husband, Martin Piller, tied for fourth earlier Sunday in the PGA Tour’s Texas Open.

AP

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