Putter running hot as Cheng has first victory
Former Macleans College student Liv Cheng won the Gateway Classic last week at Longbow Golf Club in the United States.
It’s her first victory on the Symetra Tour, a step below the LPGA Tour.
Cheng posted a two-under 70 to come from two shots back heading into the final round to force a play-off which she won two holes later after her putter was running hot.
She collected the first-place prize of $15,000 to move into fourth on the Volvik Race for the Card money list after three events, after starting the week in 72nd.
‘‘It feels amazing and I still can’t believe it. I’m over the moon excited,’’ she said.
Cheng made a 17-foot par putt on the 17th hole and a par on 18 to get into the clubhouse with the lead at seven-under.
Mina Harigae, of California, who was the co-leader entering the day, made a 10-foot par putt on the 18th to force the play-off.
‘‘I was out of position with my driver, but I stuck to it and scrambled,’’ Cheng said.
‘‘I never gave up and trusted myself and the putts rolled in.
‘‘I had 11 putts on the back nine and that really helped with scoring.’’
After two pars on the first play-off hole, Harigae’s second shot went into the hazard on the second play-off hole and that opened the door for Cheng, who was able to drop an eight-footer for par to claim the victory.
‘‘I feel like we kept going in the bunker together,’’ Cheng said, about the bunker shots both had to pull off in the playoff.
‘‘I once again got out of pos- ition with my driver, but I scrambled to make the par which was great.’’
Cheng attempted just 24 putts for the day on her way to a very special win.
‘‘My putter feels really good right now, definitely the best club in my bag right now,’’ Cheng said.
Cheng has had just one top 10 finish during her first two years on tour. The win puts her in a great spot early in the season.
‘‘I feel really good about my game. This is my third year playing on the Symetra Tour and I feel like this year I have the tools to play better and get myself on the LPGA Tour.’’
Cheng finished 63rd on the money list in 2016 and 108th as a rookie in 2015.
‘‘This win makes me really happy that the hard work is starting to pay off. I’m definitely starting to see results.’’
Liv Cheng claimed her first tournament victory on golf’s Symetra Tour last week.