Castren becomes first from Finland to win on LPGA Tour
Matilda Castren of Finland celebrates with the trophy after winning the final round of the LPGA Mediheal Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club on June 13, 2021 in Daly City, California. AFP
Matilda Castren fired a 65 on Sunday, capturing the Mediheal Championship by two strokes to become the first Finnish player to win on the LPGA Tour.
The 26-year-old Castren, who started the day two shots back, finished at 14-under 274 at the Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco.
"I can't believe this is happening," said Castren, who was making just her 15th start on the Tour. "I knew one day it may be me but I didn't think it would be so soon.
"I just played hole by hole and tried to stay really patient. I was thinking about winning the whole day. I just tried to focus on one shot at a time and it just happened."
Castren got off to a hot start and was five under through the first five holes. She made birdie on the first three holes and then made a short eagle putt on the par-five fifth.
She made the turn at a sizzling 30, compiling a three-shot lead over third round leader Lee Min of Taiwan.
Castren and Lee duelled all round but in the end Lee fell just shy. Her 25-foot putt for eagle on 18 stopped an inch short of the hole. Lee dropped to her knees in disbelief.
Up next, Castren calmly knocked in a final birdie putt to cap off a sizzling round.
"I mean, winning a tournament you have to practice," said Lee, "This is a great practice. Maybe after couple times I will be there."
Ryu So-Yeon, of South Korea, and Aussie Hannah Green, both majors winners, finished in a tie for third at eight under.