NASA Hatooka capitalizes on Jin Young Ko’s late meltdown, tops LA Open by 4 strokes

LOS ANGELES — NASA Hataoka took advantage of Jin Young Koo’s late meltdown on Saturday to advance by four strokes in the final round of the DIO Implant LA Open.

Tied for the lead with Hataoka after a birdie in the 15th inning, the top-ranked Ko hijacked the tier 4 to 16 and made a stealth quadruple 8 on the 17th after twice failing to clear the ball from Barranca’s depth.

Hataoka smashed 16th and smashed the last two slots of 4-under-67 and 11-under-202 on aggregate at Wilshire Country Club. The 23-year-old Japanese player racked up five wins on the LPGA Tour, winning twice last season.

“During yesterday’s tour, something clicked inside of me and I was able to transfer that to today’s tour as well,” said Hataoka. “I think this really helped me today.”

Australian Hannah Green came in second after 69.

Koo shot 72, to finish by hitting a 15-foot flyby of the 18th edge, to tie for third with fellow South Koreans Inppi Park (68) and Heeji Kang (69).

On the 17th, Coe hits her second shot in the barranca that slips through the historic layout. Instead of taking a non-playable lie, I went down into the valley and tried to hit twice before taking a non-playable lie.

“I didn’t play badly,” Coe said. “Just 17 was a huge mistake.” “But this is golf. I have no regrets.”

On the 16th day, Chip Koo slipped from in front of the green to her feet and made 20 feet to save the ghost.

“This course is tough, so I try to focus on my game,” Coe said. “And I have another round to go, so I’ll use all the energy from my body.”

Koe won her thirteenth LPGA title in Singapore early last month. She won five times last year.

Hatwaka had five birds and a ghost on Saturday in waning winds.

“Compared to yesterday, today wasn’t really bad,” said Hataoka. “I felt that yesterday’s wind was more difficult to read.”

Green had three birds and a ghost playing in the last group with Hataoka and Kou.

“I feel like I didn’t give my best,” Green said. “Hopefully tomorrow I can get everything my way and try to put as much pressure on NASA as possible.”

Park had four birds and a ghost.

“Anything can happen on the golf course,” Park said. “Especially, if you have a bad day, it’s just a disaster on that golf course.”

The tournament is part of a two-week tour of the Los Angeles area, with Palos Verdes next week.

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