England’s Georgia Hall wins Portland Classic in playoff

PORTLAND, Ore. — Georgia Hall won the Cambia Portland Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour victory in the United States, beating Ashleigh Buhai with a par on the second hole of a playoff.

Hall won after falling into a tie with a bogey on the part-4 18th in regulation. The 24-year-old Englishwoman, the 2018 Women’s British Open champion, matched Buhai with a par on 18 on the first extra hole and won on the par-4 first at Columbia Edgewater.

“To bogey the last I was quite upset about that,” Hall said. “I had to refigure myself and get back to try and win that playoff.”

Hall closed with a 4-under 68. She bogeyed the par-4 third, birdied Nos. 5-7 and 10-12 and made five straight pars before closing with bogey to fall into the playoff.

“The pins are so tricky today,” Hall said. “I knew the scoring wouldn’t be a low. I had a really good run in the middle there, three or four in a row. Had to hold on the last few holes.

The 31-year-old Buhai, from South Africa, birdied four of the last five holes for a 65 — matching Danielle Kang for best round of the day.

“Hit good shots coming down the stretch,” Buhai said. “You know, adrenaline. It’s difficult to really calculate. Not much you can do, and just a misread putt. Just misread it a little bit.”

She missed a chance for her first LPGA Tour victory.

“I can’t say I really feel like celebrating right now,” Buhai said. “I finished second in the past and I felt that was a good week. Obviously, a little disappointed, but there were far more positives this week than negatives, and got to take that into the next tournament.”

Moriya Jutanugarn (67 and Yealimi Noh (69) finished a stroke out of the playoff.

Second-round leader Mel Reid (74) was 10 under with Inbee Park (66), Caroline Masson (66), Mariah Stackhouse (67), Cheyenne Knight (68), Robynn Ree (66) and Jasmine Suwannapura (68).

Hamilton’s Alena Sharp, the lone Canadian to make the cut, fired a 2-under 70 to reach 3 under for the tournament.

Kang topped the group at 9 under. Defending champion Hannah Green, two strokes behind Reid entering the day, had a 73 to also finish at 9 under.

Sophia Popov shot a 70 to tie for 24th at 6 under in her first start as an LPGA Tour member. The German won the Women’s British Open, but missed the major ANA Inspiration last week because the field was set in April when it was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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