SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Jang Ha-na sank a short eagle putt on the last and immediately broke into a Beyonce-inspired shimmy to celebrate her second win of the season with a brilliant four-shot triumph at the HSBC Women’s Champions on Sunday.
The Korean started the day one ahead of the pack but stormed clear on the back nine to close with a seven-under-par 65 for a 19-under total, capped by the gutsy eagle on the par-five last when she took on the lake with a fairway wood to attack the pin.
“I felt very comfortable today but am really, really happy this year because I have two wins right now,” Jang, who will rise to number five in the world rankings, told reporters. “Closing with that eagle was amazing in my mind, very lovely.”
The effervescent Jang was tracked all the way by playing partner Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand, who scrambled brilliantly to stay in touch and closed with a bogey-free 68 but was thwarted once more in her latest attempt to win on tour.
Pornanong now has three second-place finishes in as many years and would have secured victory had it not been for the brilliance of Jang, the Thai finishing four clear of Korea’s Amy Yang in third with a group of five players a further shot back.
Jang started the year by becoming the first player on the LPGA Tour to score a hole-in-one on a par-four in the Bahamas and has backed that up with a victory in Florida last month and another in Singapore to continue her rich vein of form.
That maiden triumph was celebrated with her self-styled ‘Samurai-lasso’ dance and after inventing a new way to enjoy her victory on Sunday, the 23-year-old could soon be running out of ideas to mark each victory as her stock rises on the LPGA Tour.
“This week, I’ve been listening to Beyonce’s music. So I‘m watching the concert at the Super Bowl and it looks really nice,” she added. “So I tried to be like Beyonce, the single lady. I‘m single right now too, so I try the single lady.”
Jang predicted on Friday she may have “something special” to perform should she win this week and such was her confidence that she took a stranglehold of the tournament with an opening-hole birdie on Sunday and refused to let go.
Two more birdies gave her a three-shot lead over Pornanong at the turn as the chasing pack faltered but the Korean gave the 26-year-old Thai a glimmer of hope with a messy bogey on the 11th which could have been a lot worse.
The lead was briefly down to one when the Thai birdied the par-five 12th until Jang matched her moments later to keep the advantage at two shots, before a couple of monster putts led to back-to-back birdies from the 13th to send the Korean clear.
World number one Lydia Ko, who was eight adrift at the start of the day, sizzled on the front nine and moved to within four of the lead on the 12th hole but an error-strewn finish left her 12 shots off the pace in a tie for 15th at seven-under.
Reporting by John O'Brien; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly