Bailey Darty becomes Rolex first-time winner at Blue Bay LPGA | LPGA

After four days of play at Zion Lake Blue Bay Golf Course, Bailey Tardy won the 2024 Blue Bay LPGA by four shots. Tardi claimed his first LPGA Tour win with a 72-hole total of 15-under par to become Rolex's first-ever winner, his first of the 2024 season and first since the 2023 Buick LPGA Shanghai Angel.

Having taken the lead early in the day, Tardi was quiet for most of the front nine, making seven straight pars and falling behind then-leader Sarah Schmelzel. Something clicked for Tardy on the par-5 8th hole, where he made a 51-foot eagle putt to kickstart his round. From there, she birdied 9 for one bogey-free 3-under 33 over the first nine holes. No. A bogey at 10 moved her one shot back, but she quickly returned to 15-under with a birdie on the 11th. He made two more birdies in a row to reach par at 17-under and was four shots clear of any competitor. Tardy made two more birdies at the par-4 15th and par-4 17th to break the 19-under par and 72-hole scoring record by a total of six shots.

„I started off a little slow on the front nine, and then I was patient there. I can't say I woke up today knowing I was going to shoot 65 or knowing I had to be too low to win,” said Darty, the second American to win in the 2024 season. I knew it was going to be a tough day. I thought everyone played well. The leaderboard was stacked and the atmosphere was windy, so I'm proud of myself and how I handled myself.

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With his final putt, he earned his first win of his second season on the LPGA Tour and his first professional win since the 2021 Copper Rock Championship on the Epson Tour. The 27-year-old turned professional in 2019, skipping his last season of eligibility at the University of Georgia. He played on the Epson Tour through 2022, finishing second in the LPGA Q-Series to earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2023 season. The highlight of her freshman year was the US Women's Open in Pebble Beach, where she finished fourth.

“Last year was a good example. I missed a few cuts early in the season. Being out here is expensive. I don't earn any money. I'm 27, so you either do it or you go to work. „So there are a lot of nights where you think — especially when things are bad, you can't take a week off because that's an opportunity to make money, but you have to work on your game,” he said. Tardy is the third player to earn his first LPGA Tour win at the Blue Bay LPGA. „So the fine line of whether or not you stay on the road is you push or take a week off and try to fix things. I really struggled with that last year. So, yeah, it's not a life for everyone. You really have to love being here and love golf, That's what I do.”

Fellow American Schmelzel finished second and four shots behind Tardi. He started his day strong, making three birdies on his first three holes to sit at 15-under par for the tournament through the first three holes. Schmelzel made three bogeys in his final six holes and would battle through the rest of the front nine. He made two birdies on holes 14 and 18 and returned to the week with his fourth consecutive round of 60s. Schmelzel is expected to move into the top 10 in the CME Globe race as he earns his second top-10 finish in the past two weeks.

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Ayaka Furu shot a final-round 65 to move up six spots on the leaderboard after tying with Tardi for the lowest round of the day. After this week, Furue has four top-10 finishes in her first five starts of the 2024 LPGA Tour season. 2024 LPGA Tour rookie Savannah Grewal, 2016 Blue Bay LPGA Champion Minjee Lee and 20-time LPGA Tour winner Lydia Ko finished tied for fourth place at 13-under.

Next, the LPGA Tour heads to the Fir Hills Cheri Bach Championship in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., for the sixth event of the 2024 season.

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