Alexa Bano makes a late push to finish second in HGVTOC debut | LPGA

Orlando, Fla. – Last year's ISPS Handa World Invitational winner Alexa Bano held her own at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions on Sunday, finishing solo second in her first tournament after posting a 2-under 70 in the final round at Lake Nona Golf Course. and the Country Club.

Starting the day two shots behind Lydia Coe, the 19-year-old had a quiet front nine, a bogey on the par-3 6th hole, a birdie on the par-5 9th hole and seven pars to return in 36. Three straight pars on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes and a bogey on the 13th saw Pano slip to 9-under, but she ground it down and made a birdie on the par-4 14th hole to make it back. Birdies on the 16th and 17th holes tied the four-day total at 12-under and tied for runner-up to Coe.

Bano's best finish on the LPGA Tour is second place since his win in Northern Ireland last August, and it is only the second time he has finished in the top 10 of his LPGA Tour career. Although he'd prefer to give Co. more money in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, Pano was happy with his effort in Lake Nona this week and relished the opportunity to watch it alongside some Boston sports stars. It was a treat for the New England Patriots-sponsored banner.

„This week was really fun,” said the first-time Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions participant. „There should be a lot of family here, my sponsors. I got to meet some of my dream celebrities, and on top of that I played some good golf. So, I had a really great week. It's a great start to the season.

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Pano has felt comfortable being among the world's best on the LPGA Tour since joining the organization last season. During the Tournament of Champions earlier in the week, she said she felt like a „mess” as a freshman, but now feels more comfortable competing on the biggest stage in women's golf and has made friends and learned on tour. Ropes in 2023.

That comfort can be found in the way Bano carries himself. The 19-year-old stands a bit taller, strides up each fairway with more confidence, and approaches each challenge head on. She always knew her game was good enough, but now the results are finally proving it, and Pano can't wait to get her second solo finish at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in her second season on the LPGA Tour. .

„It gives me good confidence for the rest of the year,” Bano said. „It took me a while last year to get some good results. It's great. Having everyone here with me was a good fresh start to the year. I'm excited to see what's to come this year.

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