Emotional Cheyenne Knight captures first LPGA title on native Texas soil

Jaye Marie Green at the LPGA Volunteers of America Classic

Knight came into the tournament needing a top five finish to crack the top 100 on the LPGA money list and ended up taking home her biggest career prize US$195,000 (S$269,000).

First-round leader Stephanie Meadow was 8 under, following her opening 63 with a 71.

American Brittany Altomare, who shared the overnight lead with Knight and Canadian Alena Sharp, carded a 68 for 201, where she was joined by Katherine Perry (66).

"When you're in the middle of it, you don't really realize like I only had two pars through 10 holes", Green said.

Knight, who won two UIL state titles with the Ladycats, shot a 66, 67, 67, 66 for a total score of 266, 18-under par, her lowest tournament score on tour. Knight had pointed to his tournament, which she played as an amateur, all season. She's from Aledo, about an hour away, close enough to get plenty of support as she goes for her first win.

"I'm like, 'You know what? I can't wait to get started".

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"I'm going to have to look through the rules, because this is my TV show". I think Nick just needs to be himself, which he's going to".

That included a 25-foot putt on the last that meant the Jordanstown native finished in a tie for sixth, eight shots behind victor Cheyenne Knight.

Green began the final round with the lead and still was one shot ahead through 10 holes until she bogeyed the 11th and 12th and never caught up.

"I looked at the board and saw that I needed a birdie to be in the last group", Knight said. Alabama finished as the NCAA runner-up to Arizona in 2018. I thought I was going back to Q-school.

"I know he's watching down from heaven", she said, teary-eyed, in a greenside interview.

England's Georgia Hall, who had one of the best rounds of the day with a five-under 66, finished in a tie for fourth with Jane Park of the USA who had a 68. "Who would have thought this would help me secure my card. To win this means everything, knowing I can persevere".

The Top 100 players on the money list retain their tour standing for the following season. But she made the 25-foot putt coming back to avoid a third straight bogey, and then holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole to regain control.

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