Mex­ico's Lopez wins maiden LPGA crown with China vic­tory

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

SHANG­HAI: Mex­ico's 136thranked Gaby Lopez cel­e­brated the big­gest vic­tory of her ca­reer on Satur­day when she tri­umphed at the $2.1 mil­lion Blue Bay LPGA in China.

An emo­tional Lopez beat off world num­ber one Ariya Ju­tanu­garn of Thai­land and a late chal­lenge from France's Ce­line Boutier for her maiden vic­tory on the US-based LPGA Tour.

Lopez carded a fi­nal-round 73 to go eight un­der for the tour­na­ment on the is­land of Hainan -- where wind has been a fac­tor all week -- and a on­e­stroke win.

She was drenched in wa­ter by her ri­vals by way of cel­e­bra­tion and wiped away tears at the end.

Lopez had marked her 25th birth­day on Fri­day by hit­ting a hole-in-one at the 17th and grab­bing the third-round lead.

She ded­i­cated the ca­reer­chang­ing vic­tory to her late grand­fa­ther.

"My grandpa passed away a cou­ple of weeks ago. I al­ways told him that I was go­ing to give him my first tro­phy," Lopez said.

"Sadly I didn't, but he was with me all week long and I couldn't be more lucky, more for­tu­nate, to have him still alive in me."

Ju­tanu­garn fin­ished sec­ond on seven un­der and Boutier, ranked 150th in the world, was third, a fur­ther shot back, af­ter shoot­ing a sparkling six-un­der­par 66.

There was a tie for fourth be­tween Danielle Kang of the United States and South Korea's Kim Sei-young. - AFP

Gaby Lopez beat off world num­ber one Ariya Ju­tanu­garn of Thai­land and a late chal­lenge from France's Ce­line Boutier for her maiden vic­tory on the US-based LPGA Tour. - AFP photo

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