LOS ANGELES: Jenny Shin became the third first time winner on the USLPGA Tour this year, coming from behind to close with a four-under 67 on Monday and win the Texas Shootout tournament.
“I was really nervous on the last hole,” said South Korea’s Shin. “Right now I have nothing on my mind, I have absolutely nothing.
“I think it will hit me when everything is over and when I get on a plane and home to my mom.”
It took the 23-year-old Shin 135 starts since turning pro in 2010 to record her first victory.
Her best showing prior to Sunday was finishing runner-up at the 2012 HSBC Women’s Champions to Angela Stanford, who beat Shin in a playoff.
Shin played the final 43 holes at the Dallas-area Las Colinas Country Club bogey free as she finished at 14-under 270.
She was two strokes in front of fellow South Koreans Amy Yang (71) and Hur Mi-Jung (71) as well as American Gerina Piller — who led heading into the final round but closed with a two-over 73.
Asian players took nine of the top 12 spots on the final leaderboard, including seven South Koreans in that group.
Shin joins compatriot Jang Ha-Na and Japan’s Haru Nomura as first time winners in 2016 and will jump from 38th to 24 in the world rankings.
Shin launched her 67 with three birdies in the first five holes, quickly whittling away at the four-shot deficit she faced at the start of the round.
“I was chasing the leader all week so looking at the leaderboard didn’t get me nervous at all,” Shin said. “I practiced a lot of three footers the first two days because I kept hitting it too far past, and I know that I’ve made almost every single one of them so that really helped me with my confidence and I had a lot of them coming down the last six holes.
“As soon as I made the first one I went ‘OK, I know I’ll make the second one and make the third one,” added Shin.
Piller, meanwhile, opened her round with the first of her five bogeys.
“I mean, the conditions are pretty tough, so it definitely wasn’t a cakewalk out there,” Piller said. The pins were really, really tough today and it’s tough to get them close, especially coming in.
“But I’ve taken nothing but good things away from this week. That was my first time ever holding the lead, especially for two rounds, so it’s just more confidence that I’m adding to what I already have.”