Bailey Tardy wins Blue Bay LPGA; Mississauga rookie Savannah Grewal finishes T4

LPGA Communications

HAINAN, CHINA: After four days of play at Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course, Bailey Tardy walks away victorious with a four-shot victory at the 2024 Blue Bay LPGA. Tardy earned her first LPGA Tour victory with 72-hole total of 15-under par to become a Rolex First-Time Winner, the first of the 2024 season and the first since Angel Yin at the 2023 Buick LPGA Shanghai.

Tied for the lead at the start of the day, Tardy stayed silent 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 she made a 51-foot eagle putt to kickstart her round. From there, she birdied hole 9 to turn in a bogey-free, three-under 33 on the first nine holes. A bogey on No. 10 moved her back one shot, but she quickly got back to 15-under par with a birdie on the 11th. She made two more birdies in a row to reach 17-under par, and four shots clear of any competitor. Tardy made two more birdies on the par-4 15th and par-4 17th to reach 19-under par and break the 72-hole scoring record by a total of six shots.


“I got off to a little slow start on the front nine, and then just really stayed patient out there. I can’t say that I woke up today knowing I was going to shoot 65 or knowing I needed to go that low to win,” said Tardy, who became the second American to win in the 2024 season. “I just knew it was going to be a tough day. I thought that everybody was going to play really well. The leaderboard was stacked and the conditions were windy, so just really proud of myself and how I handled myself.”

With her final putt, she claimed her first win in just her second season on the LPGA Tour, and first professional win since the 2021 Copper Rock Championship on the Epson Tour. The 27-year-old turned professional in 2019, foregoing her last season of eligibility at the University of Georgia. She played on the Epson Tour until 2022, when she finished second at LPGA Q-Series to gain LPGA Tour Membership for the 2023 season. The highlight of her rookie year came at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach, where she finished tied for fourth.

“Last year is a great example. I missed a bunch of cuts early in the season. It’s expensive being out here. I wasn’t making any money. I’m 27, so it’s kind of like either you make it or you go get a job. And so there is just so many nights where you think — especially when things are going bad, it’s like you can’t take a week off because that’s an opportunity to make money, but then you need to work on your game,” said Tardy, who became the third player to earn their first LPGA Tour victory at the Blue Bay LPGA. “So it’s a very fine line of whether or not you stay on the road and you push through or take a week off and try to fix things. I struggled with that a lot last year. So, yeah, it’s a life that’s not for everybody. You have to really love being out here and love golf, and that’s what I do.”

Fellow American Schmelzel finished second and four shots behind Tardy. She started her day strong, making three birdies in her first three holes to sit at 15-under par for the tournament through the first three holes. Schmelzel would battle on the rest of the front nine, making three bogeys in her last six holes. She made two birdies on holes 14 and 18 to turn in her fourth consecutive round in the 60s for the week. Schmelzel is projected to move into the top 10 in the Race to the CME Globe as she earned her second top-10 finish in the last two weeks.

Ayaka Furue shot a final-round 65 to move six spots up the leaderboard after tying with Tardy for the lowest round of the day. After this week, Furue has earned four top-10 finishes in her first five starts of the 2024 LPGA Tour season.

Canadian rookie Savannah Grewal of Mississauga claimed a share of fourth place in just her second LPGA event. Her course record 64 in the third round and a final round 68 pushed her to 13-under par for the week and left her tied with 2016 Blue Bay LPGA champion Minjee Lee and 20-time LPGA Tour winner Lydia Ko.

Next, the LPGA Tour heads to the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship in Palos Verdes Estates, CA, for the sixth event of the 2024 season.

Fairways Magazine

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