LA QUINTA, California | Ethan Chung of Murrieta and Karen Tsuru of Carlsbad needed heroic shots on the toughest finishing holes in golf to claim the 2019 Toyota Tour Cup Championship at PGA West’s iconic Stadium Course.
Chung, a University of Southern California commit, started the final round in the lead after an opening round five-under par, 67. Unlike his first round, Chung struggled to convert birdies where he needed to in order to pull away from the pack. He was able to limit his mistakes, however, in order to cling onto a one-stroke lead.
Heading into the final hole of regulation, Chung dunked his approach shot on the famed 18th hole resulting in a three-way tie for first. Chung, Kyle An of Aliso Viejo, and Calder Overfelt of Newport Beach needed extra holes on the water-lined par-4 18th to determine a champion.
Overfelt was eliminated after the first playoff hole after not being able to muster an up-and-down par from the greenside penalty area. Chung and An headed back to 18th tee in hopes of ending the firm deadlock. An hit a wayward approach shot into the water but proceeded to get up-and-down for a bogey. Chung’s approach shot ended up in back right in the rough. His chip landed 11 feet from the cup, but confidently drained the par putt to win the Championship.
Tsuru started the day two-strokes off the lead but battled hard and remained patient all day to stay within striking range. Trailing a red-hot Madison Le of Garden Grove, Tsuru needed an epic comeback in order to pull of the win. She rose to the challenge trading birdies down the stretch with Le. Coming down the last hole all square, Tsuru drained a 30-foot par putt on her last hole to force a playoff.
Tsuru and Le played the 18th hole to determine a winner. Le missed the green on her approach shot while Tsuru stuffed her wedge shot to 6-feet. Tsuru nailed her birdie putt to win her seventh Toyota Tour Cup title of the calendar year.
Special thanks to the host facility at PGA West, Head Golf Professional Chris Caballero and Tournament Coordinator Dave Magdziasz.
Thank you to the following volunteer Rules Officials: Chairman Ron O’ Connor, PGA, Tom Powers, Dave Stewart, Carol Stewart and Gary Albin.
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LA QUINTA, California | The first round of the Toyota Tour Cup Championship has concluded at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West. With a crowded leaderboard, Sunday’s final round promises to provide a pressure-packed finish.
Ethan Chung of Murrieta was impressive throughout his round with a five-under par 67. Chung had a string of birdies on holes 5,6, and 7 to kick start his round; however, he hit a speed bump on the par-4 8th with a bogey. Resiliency was key for Chung as he bounced back with three birdies and no bogeys on the back nine.
Darien Zhao of San Diego and Dylan Oyama of Carlsbad are tied for second at four-under par, 68. With 18 players shooting under par rounds, there are many players within striking distance of the top spot.
Anna Davis of Spring Valley jumped out in front of the pack with a four-under 68. Davis’s spotless scorecard features four birdies on holes 1, 8, 12, and 18.
Heading into the final round, Madison Le of Garden Grove and Karen Tsuru of Carlsbad are one and two strokes back, respectively. Tsuru is looking for her seventh Toyota Tour Cup victory of the year.
Annika Ishiyama of Irvine had a thrilling hole-in-one on the daunting par-3 12th hole. She used a 6 iron for her third career hole-in-one from 159 yards out.
The final round will be contested tomorrow, December 15th, on the famed Stadium Course at PGA West.