Jodi Ewart Shadoff secured a long-awaited maiden LPGA Tour title at the 246th attempt after hanging on for a one-shot victory at the Mediheal Championship.
The 34-year-old from Yorkshire began the final day with a four-shot lead after earlier rounds of 65, 69 and 69 at The Saticoy Club in California, but two nervy bogeys over the front nine on Sunday, offset by a solitary birdie, saw her lead completely eroded by the time she reached the turn.
However, Ewart Shadoff soon steadied the ship with birdies at 12 and 14, and solid pars over the four closing holes saw her card a one-under 71 and a one-shot victory.
Japan’s Yuka Saso birdied her final three holes for a 66 to take her into second place, while Georgia Hall’s final round 65 lifted her to tied-third alongside Paula Reto and Danielle Kang.
Ewart Shadoff, who struggled with injury last year, said: “It’s a little bit surreal. I didn’t know if this moment would ever come. I’m just really grateful for everybody who’s on my team. I’m standing here with the trophy because of them.”
She added: “I’ve been through a lot in the past couple of years with injuries, and I found it a pretty significant mental challenge to get through that. There were times when I didn’t think I would be playing this year, but I didn’t give up on myself. I’ve learned that I can fight through adversity and I can play under the nerves. The last putt was only a foot, but it felt like 20!”
Ewart Shadoff’s victory earned her $270,000 and a move up to 61st in the world ranking from her previous position in 92nd.