Gemma Dryburgh records first career-best display on LPGA Tour

Scottish No 1 finishes joint-sixth in LPGA Drive On Championship in Ohio

Gemma Dryburgh finished joint-sixth in the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio
Gemma Dryburgh finished joint-sixth in the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio

Scottish No 1 Gemma Dryburgh vindicated her pre-event confidence by recording a career-best performance on the LPGA Tour in the US circuit's restart after its coronavirus shutdown.

The 27-year-old finished joint-sixth behind American Danielle Kang in the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness Golf Club in Toledo, Ohio, to pick up a cheque for just over $25,000.

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Dryburgh, a back-to-back winner on the Rose Ladies Series before heading across the Atlantic, carded rounds of 73-72-71 at the venue for next year's Solheim Cup to finish on level-par.

The Aberdonian was three-under in the final round after birdies at the third, 10th and 13th before dropping shots at the 15th and 17th.

It was a brilliant week's work as she recorded her first top-10 finish on the circuit, having struggled to find her feet two seasons ago but really starting to hit her stride now.

"It was a really fun week," said Dryburgh. "A tough course and tough weather conditions, too, so it seemed to suit me.

"I’ve obviously been playing really well recently so I just used that confidence and continued with the same form which was good to see after a couple of weeks off.

"My whole game is feeling good and it was great to see all of my hard work pay off. "I'm really looking forward to the upcoming weeks and getting back to Scotland next week for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club."

Kang claimed a wire-to-wire win as she finished on seven-under, one shot ahead of Celine Boutier from France, with Australia's Minjee Lee third on four-under.

“I'm really, really happy that I got to pull it off after leading the first day and second day,” said Kang, who has now won in four consecutive LPGA Tour seasons.

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“Leading after the first day definitely gave me some hope, and I wanted it close it out. It came down to the last hole, last putt, but it was a really good battle out there, and it's pretty cool.”

It all came down to the 54th hole, where Boutier put her approach from 94 yards out to just six feet below the hole.

After Kang closed with a two-putt par, Boutier’s birdie putt heartbreakingly lipped out, handing the victory to Kang.

“She was ahead the whole front, and then I just tried to focus on my game, because at that point I hadn't played that well,” said Boutier, a member of Europe's triumphant team in last year's Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

“So I just tried to hit fairways, hit greens, give myself opportunities, and then I managed to make a couple of birdies.”

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