Golf News


Alexa Pano

It was a birthday to remember for Alexa Pano as she won the ISPS HANDA World Invitational Presented by AVIV Clinics in a dramatic playoff.

After rounds of 76-70-69-66, Pano ended the tournament with a total of eight-under-par and found herself in a playoff alongside Germany’s Esther Henseleit and England’s Gabriella Cowley.

The American, who turns 19 today, headed back down 18 and made a birdie on the first playoff hole, as did Cowley to send them back to the tee.

Despite her tee shot ending up in the trees, Pano made a par on the second playoff hole while Cowley missed her birdie putt as they both headed back to the 18th tee again.

On the third playoff hole, Pano made the green in two and was able to two-putt for a birdie to win her maiden title on the LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour (LET).

“I’ve kind of been saying that I really wanted to win this event because it’s on my birthday,” said the LPGA Tour rookie.

“My best friend can contest it’s been for like two months. It feels so surreal that it’s happened. It’s been a little bit crazy because I didn’t have my clothes and clubs earlier in the week, but it’s all worth it.

“It just feels so surreal right now to have my dad on the bag as well. I can’t actually process that that just happened.”

Pano fired a round of 66 (-6) on day four at Galgorm to put herself in contention for the win, making three bogeys and nine birdies including two in her final two holes.

England’s Cowley carded a round of 70 (-2) on the final day competition and rolled in an eagle putt on the last to secure her place in the playoff.

The 27-year-old had the opportunity to take the win on the second playoff hole when she had a five-foot birdie putt, but unfortunately, she missed it and Pano triumphed on the next hole.

While two-time LET winner Henseleit produced a second consecutive round of 69 (-3) which included three birdies in her last four holes to put herself in the playoff.

However, the German was only able to make a par on the first playoff hole and ended the week in a tie for second place alongside Cowley.

Henseleit said: “I’m pretty happy with how my game is at the moment and how it’s been the last couple months. I feel really good on the course. I had a lot of fun playing in contention the last two days, so, yeah, hopefully, we’ll be back.”

America’s Ryann O’Toole finished in fourth place on seven-under-par after a final round of 70 (-2) in Northern Ireland.



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