Sunday’s roundup: Shin wins, Stuard in lead
Irving, Texas — Jenny Shin won the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour victory, pulling away for a two-stroke victory at Las Colinas.
Making her 135th tour start, Shin closed with a 4-under 67 to finish at 14-under 270. The 23-year-old South Korean player went to high school in Torrance, California, and won the 2006 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
“Still in awe. Nothing has registered yet,” Shin said. “I wanted to talk to my mum, but I was on the verge of tears, so I hung up without really her answering the phone. I think it will hit me as soon as I talk to my mum.”
Third-round leader Gerina Piller, the area resident seeking her first tour victory, birdied the final hole for a 73 to tie for second with South Koreans Amy Yang and Mi Jung Hur.
“I was proud of the way I finished. I’ll be back,” Piller said after her fourth straight top-six finish.
Yang and Hur each shot 71.
Shin birdied three of the first five holes and added another on the par-5 10th. She closed with eight pars, the last an up-and-down save from right of the green on the par-5 18th.
“I actually didn’t know I was in front of everybody, I thought Amy Yang was only one stroke behind, so I was really nervous on the last hole,” Shin said.
Other players showered her with beer after the victory.
“It wasn’t something I pictured, for sure,” Shin said. “I wanted something like champagne, but now I’m stinking of beer. Then they were like, ‘Oh, you stink of beer.’ Then they shower you more with water. But it’s still good. I’m so glad they stuck around and gave me a shower of beer.”
She’s projected to jump from 38th to 24th in the world ranking.
“Nothing’s easy, golf is not easy,” Shin said. “I worked my butt off out there. I didn’t have my ‘A’ game this week, surprisingly, and to know that I won with kind of a semi-goodish game, it makes me very happy.”
Piller lives in Plano, about 20 miles from Las Colinas. The long-hitting U.S. Solheim Cup hero grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, and played at the University Texas-El Paso. A number of high school and college friends joined her family — led by her husband, PGA Tour player Martin Piller — in the gallery.
“The thing that makes it more special is I don’t have to play good golf for them to continue to love me, so that’s pretty cool,” Piller said. “No matter what I shoot, no matter what I do, they’re behind me.”
Fifth-ranked Brooke Henderson closed with a 71 to tie for 19th at 3 under, ending the 18-year-old Canadian’s string of top-10 finishes at eight.
Cheyenne Knight, a 19-year-old University of Alabama freshman from nearby Aledo, had a 72 to tie for 30th at 1 under. Karah Sanford, a 14-year-old high school freshman from San Diego, tied for 51st at 6 over after a 77.
Jhonattan Vegas birdied two of five holes he was able to play in the rain-delayed third round of the Zurich Classic at Avondale, Louisiana, giving him a share of the lead with Brian Stuard (Jackson).
Tournament officials shortened the event to 54 holes for the Monday finish.
Vegas made birdie putts from beyond 7 feet on the first two holes to reach 13 under, then parred three straight before steady rain, accompanied by intermittent thunder, forced organizers to clear the water-logged TPC Louisiana after little more than two hours of play. Stuard, who has not made a bogey in the tournament, had one birdie in the round. Like Vegas, he’ll resume play on the sixth hole.
Top-ranked Jason Day was in a five-way tie for fifth at 10 under through 44 holes.
Rain, which also delayed play Thursday and Saturday, is again forecast Monday.
The event is the first to be shortened
to 54 holes since the 2013 Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. The last Monday finish was the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in early February.
At Newburgh, Indiana, Seamus Power took advantage of the other leaders’ late problems to win the United Leasing & Finance Championship for his first Tour title.
The first Irish winner on the tour, the 29-year-old Power closed with a bogey-free 5-under 67 at Victoria National to finish at 12-under 276. He birdied the par-4 17th and parred the par-4 18th.
Third-round leader Adam Schenk, Cody Gribble and Jonathan Randolph finished a stroke back. Schenk, from nearby Vincennes, made a double bogey on par-5 15th in a 70. Gribble bogeyed the final two holes for a 69. Randolph bogeyed the 17th in a 67.
Roger Sloan was fifth at 10 under. The Canadian made double bogeys on the final two holes for a 69.
Power earned $108,000 to jump from 47th to seventh on the money list with $131,733, with the top 25 at end of the regular season earning PGA Tour cards.
China’s Li Haotong shot an 8-under 64 to win the China Open at Beijing for his first European Tour title.
The 20-year-old Li finished at 22-under 266 at Topwin for a three-stroke victory. Chile’s Felipe Aguilar was second after a 69.