Suwannapura/Clanton prevail at Dow Great Lakes
MIDLAND, Mich. — Jasmine Suwannapura and Cydney Clanton finished off a strong week with a 59 on Saturday, July 20, to win the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a team event held in Midland.
The LPGA victory was the second for Suwannapura, a 26-year-old from Thailand. Clanton, a 30-year-old who attended college at Auburn, notched her first career LPGA win.
The pair's 11-under final round capped a 27-under 253 showing at Midland Country Club. They won by six shots over South Korea's Jin Young Ko and Australia's Minjee Lee.
"It's pretty awesome," Suwannapura said afterward of the performance. "I couldn't ask for a better partner."
Suwannapura and Clanton combined for 12 birdies and one bogey during Saturday's better-ball format, which called for both players to play the hole with the better score being recorded. The bogey came on the first hole.
"Actually, felt pretty good on the first tee," Clanton said. "Didn't hit a great shot into the green, but I'm not going to lie, the majority of my rounds start with bogeys. So I told Jasmine, I was like, 'Dude, we're ready. We're ready to go. We got it out of the way. we'll go low.'"
Ko and Lee shot 58 with 12 birdies during a bogey-free round.
"We both played better than we did the last time we played four-balls," Lee said. "We just had a better rhythm out there. I think we just fed off each other. Jin Young had so many birdies today, so I just tried to keep up pretty much."
Thailand sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn and the South Korea duo of Na Yeon Choi and Jenny Shin tied for third, seven shots off the lead. Both tandems shot 61 in the final round.
The Jutanugarns had 10 birdies and one bogey. Choi scored an eagle on the par-4, fifth hole and she and Shin combined for seven birdies.
Canada's Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp placed fifth at 19 under after a final-round 61. The pair had 10 birdies and one bogey.
Clanton's victory gave her spots in the field for next week's Evian Championship and the following week's Women's British Open.
In the LPGA's first-ever team event, the pairs played the first and third rounds using an alternate-shot format, with the players taking turns playing the same ball. The second and fourth rounds featured the better-ball format.