Kelly finishes tied 22nd in Lotte Championship

PETALING JAYA: National No.1 women’s golfer Kelly Tan has put a difficult start to the LPGA Tour season behind her by notching a creditable tied-22nd finish at the US$2mil (RM8.25mil) Lotte Championship.

The 27-year-old fired a successive six-under 66 to finish on 15-under 273 total at the Kapolei Golf on Saturday.

Kelly marked her scorecard with six birdies, including four in the opening nine holes, for her maiden bogey-free round of the season.

Former world No. 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand was a runaway winner after shooting 65 for 28-under total to win by seven strokes.

The timely confidence-boosting result netted Kelly US$19,987 (RM82,470) and she vowed to build on the solid performance in the coming tournaments.

Kelly will tee off next at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open in Los Angeles, starting Thursday before heading to California for the crucial one-day US Women’s sectional qualifier next Monday.

“After missing the first couple of events (of the season) while I was stuck in Malaysia (due to travel), I knew it was important for me to get off to a good start this season and I’m happy to find my footing after three starts, ” said Kelly.

She missed the cut at the Kia Classic and could only finish tied-63rd at the ANA Inspiration.

“I’ll just keep moving forward. Obviously things clicked this week and putts were falling, ” she said.

“I need to keep playing well and get good position to help me with the re-rank in the Tour’s Priority List (for tournament entry) reshuffle.

“Although I did well last year, every player’s exemption status remained as they were in 2019 as a part of the adjustment made to Covid-19-shortened season. So I’m actually still holding a conditional status. I’ll need to move up the ranks.

“I’m happy with my progress and I know I’m set for a busy season ahead!”

Kelly was a revelation last year as she finished inside the top 30 on seven occasions and missed just two cuts in 15 appearances.

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Kelly Tan , LPGA Tour , Lotte Championship


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