Amy Yang shot a final round 6-under 66 to earn her fifth LPGA Tour victory, and her first in four years at the CME Group Tour Championship. The Tour veteran, who became a rookie in 2008, not only won her first LPGA Tour event in the United States but she also broke the tournament’s 72-hole scoring record by four shots. The 34-year-old marks the oldest winner on the LPGA Tour in the 2023 season, just two months older than Ashleigh Buhai when she won the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer earlier this year.
The South Korean started the day in a share of the lead alongside Japan's Nasa Hataoka and made a slow start with a bogey at the par-4 3rd hole and two birdies at the 7th and 8th to make the turn in 35.
She closed with a 66 to reach 27-under after three more birdies and an eagle at the par-4 13th.
“Not until I made the birdie put on the 17th. You know, she [Hataoka] is such a great player and showed a lot of like good performance out there and I was feeling really nervous. You know, really like I had no idea where this was going. All I could do was just stick to my game and trust it,” said Yang.
Alison Lee of the United States and Hataoka finished in a tie for second at 24-under. Holding a share of the lead through the first three rounds, Hataoka carded a final-round 69 that included four birdies and one bogey on the par-3 16th hole that ultimately took her out of a share of the lead. She recorded her second consecutive finish in the top-10 for the 2023 season, and her 42nd top-10 finish across her Tour career.
Lee had a bogey-free round of 66 on her final day to wrap up another solid week. Her second place in Naples, Fla., is her third runner-up finish in a row, and fifth top-10 finish of the year.
“To play the last three weeks just continuously putting the pressure on everyone on the leaderboard and putting myself in contention has just been really cool for me and been a really awesome experience,” said Lee who is now in her ninth year on the LPGA Tour. “If my game is in form right now, of course I'm going to keep trying to do the best I can to accomplish those goals no mater how old I am.”
Lilia Vu finished in solo fourth after a fourth-round score of 65. Her score included one bogey to send her up the leaderboard three spots. With her finish at the CME Group Tour Championship, Vu outlasted Céline Boutier for the 2023 Rolex Player of the Year title after winning four times this season, including two major championship titles at The Chevron Championship and the AIG Women’s Open.
Thailand’s Athaya Thitikul finished fifth with a 66 to earn her 13th top-10 finish of the year, and her 29th top-10 finish in her short LPGA Tour career. Thitikul then clinched the 2023 Vare Trophy, with a scoring average of 69.533 over the 2023 season.