Nasa Hataoka wins LA Open by 5 shots at Wilshire CC

The Associated Press
Nasa Hataoka waves to fans after winning the LPGA’s DIO Implant LA Open golf tournament at Wilshire Country Club on Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nasa Hataoka ran away with DIO Implant LA Open on Sunday at Wilshire Country Club to open the LPGA Tour’s two-week run in the Los Angeles area.

Four strokes ahead entering the round after Jin Young Ko’s late meltdown Saturday, Hataoka closed with a 4-under 67 for a five-stroke victory over Hannah Green.

Hataoka finished at 15-under 269, a stroke off the tournament record set last year by Brooke Henderson. The 23-year-old Japanese player won her sixth LPGA Tour title a week after missing the cut in the windy LOTTE Championship in Hawaii with rounds of 75 and 77.

The Palos Verdes Championship begins Thursday at Palos Verdes Estates.

After seven straight pars, Hataoka put the tournament away on the par-4 15th when she raced in a 35-foot eagle putt to open a six-stroke lead. She played the first seven holes in 3 under with four birdies and a bogey.

Green finished with a 68. The Australian won both of her LPGA Tour titles in 2019.

Madelene Sagstrom (66) was 7 under with 2019 winner Minjee Lee (68) and Inbee Park (70),

The top-ranked Ko, tied for lead with Hataoka with three holes left Saturday before a bogey-quadruple bogey-birdie finish left her five strokes back, had a 75 to tie for 21st at 2 under.

On the par-4 16th Saturday, she failed twice to get the ball out of the deep barranca en route to the 8. On Sunday, she had a double bogey on the par-3 seventh and bogeyed the final two holes.