Castren Is First Finnish Winner On LPGA Tour
Firing a final round 65, Matilda Castren captured the Mediheal Championship by two strokes and became the first Finnish player to win on the LPGA Tour.
The 26-year-old, who started the day two shots back, finished at 14-under 274 at the Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco. "I can't believe this is happening, I knew one day it may be me but I didn't think it would be so soon." said Castren, who was making just her 15th start on the Tour.
”I was definitely nervous, so my mindset was just going in thinking one shot at a time, one hole at a time, and see what happens, and just trying to enjoy the day because it was my first time in the final group. I thought it was great for experience no matter what happened. It just turned out I had a great day on the course and got the trophy."
Castren got off to a hot start and was five under through the first five holes. She made birdie on the first three holes and then a short eagle putt on the par-five fifth for a sizzling 30 at the turn, compiling a three-shot lead over third round leader Lee Min of Taiwan.
Castren and Lee duelled all round but in the end Lee fell just shy. When her 25-foot putt for eagle on 18 stopped an inch short of the hole, Lee dropped to her knees in disbelief. Up next, Castren calmly knocked in a final birdie putt to cap off a sizzling round.
“I mean, winning a tournament you have to practice,” said Lee, “This is a great practice. Maybe after couple times I will be there.”
Ryu So-yeon, of South Korea, and Aussie Hannah Green, both winners of majors, finished in a tie for third at eight under.