Golf

Gemma Dryburgh wins first LPGA title with victory in Japan

Gemma Dryburgh wins first LPGA title with victory in Japan
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SHIGA, Japan — Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland won her first LPGA Tour title with a final-round 7-under 65 on Sunday to take the Toto Classic by four shots ahead of Japan’s Kana Nagai. Nagai also closed with a 65.

Linn Grant was a third, five shots off the pace after a 67.

Dryburgh, who also carded a 65 in the third round, finished 20-under 268 at the Seta Golf Club in western Japan.

Japanese Momoko Ueda, who led after the second and third rounds, finished eight shots behind after a 74. Ueda had won the event twice.

Dryburgh had a premonition about winning this week, and it happened.

« I was in Korea last week with friends and I said to them: ‘I’ll mention you in my speech’, » she said. « Just as a joke. It’s overwhelming to be honest. This is a dream of mine for a long time. »

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Dryburgh, who played golf at Tulane University in New Orleans — she’s still a serious Manchester United soccer fan — said she was relaxed despite the pressure.

« I was nervous. I’m not going to lie, » she said. « But I was incredibly calm to be honest and kind of focused on my breathing. »

Dryburgh is the first Scot to win on the LPGA tour since Catriona Matthew in 2011 at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

Atthaya Thitikul, the 19-year-old from Thailand who has climbed to No. 1 in the LPGA rankings, finished with a 67 and was 10 shots back of Dryburgh.

She was asked what she does next.

« There’s a lot of work to do, » she said. « I think I am still working and getting better, improving.

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