After 54 holes, Ruixin Liu (Guangdong, People’s Republic of China) trailed by six strokes, but she found momentum late on Sunday’s back nine this afternoon. Making birdies on the last four holes of the day helped Liu finish regulation at 15-under par and tie with Morgane Metraux (Lausanne, Switzerland). While both players made par on the first playoff hole, Liu went right for the flag on the second one and closed the day by sinking a birdie putt for the win.
“The 18th hole today is pretty tough today. The pin location is tucked in the back with water on the right and the back. I really tried to land the ball between the bunker and the flag which only gives me about 5 to 8 yards to land it. Morgane did really good putting the ball on the green,” said Liu. “The putt was really tough because it was a hard angle to hit it, but after the first one I thought if I want to end this one quick I have to aim at the pin. I was really aggressive for the second (playoff hole) and there were great results for that.”
Just a few hours north in Mesa, Ariz., Liu also competed in a two-hole playoff at the first event of the season with amateur Rose Zhang where she won her fifth title on the “Road to the LPGA.”
“It was my first ever playoff and winning that one gave me a lot of confidence. Today I didn’t really worry about the results because I did pretty good from 15 to 18 already,” said Liu. “I didn’t give myself any pressure on the playoff holes at all.”
In 2018, Liu claimed six top-10 finishes leading her to both become Player of the Year and graduate onto the LPGA Tour. Back now on the Epson Tour, Liu remembers certain events where she did not see the results she had hoped and is looking forward to conquering them this season along with getting back into the top-10 in the Race for the Card.
“For this season I am going to try and play as good as I am playing right now and see where it is going to take me,” said Liu. “Also, there are some golf courses we already played before I was to conquer them and not make the mistakes that I did a few years ago. The Island Resort Championship was my first win as a professional so I for sure want to play good there again, but in Kansas I didn’t play well last time. I barely made the cut so that is one I am really looking forward to.”