LPGA veteran O’Toole gets 1st win at Women’s Scottish Open

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FIFE, Scotland (AP)Ryann O’Toole won her first LPGA Tour event in 228 starts, closing with a bogey-free 8-under 64 at Dumbarnie Links for a three-shot victory in the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open on Sunday.

After tapping in for a closing par, the 34-year-old O’Toole was showered with champagne and greeted with a kiss by her fiancee, Gina Marra.

”I still feel like I’m in shock and the tears are going to come later when things die down,” O’Toole said. ”I’m excited and happy. The hours and grind and heartache this sport brings, the constant travel, for this moment, I hope it only happens again and again.”

O’Toole finished at 17-under 271. With the wind down and plentiful sunshine, Lydia Ko closed with a course-record 63 to post 14 under, tying for second with Atthaya Thitikul (66).

”I putt pretty well today and hit a pretty solid round today, 6-under, but at least it’s not enough for the win,” Thitikul said. ”I just know that I tried my best and I’m proud of myself already.”

O’Toole began the day tied for the lead at 9 under with Ariya Jutanugarn and Charley Hull, and the American took the lead with birdies on three of her first four holes.

Thitikul drew even with O’Toole with a birdie on the par-3 sixth, but O’Toole got back in front with a birdie on the par-4 ninth to turn in 31. She maintained her advantage throughout the back nine and finished with eight birdies, including all four par-5s.

”I tried not to look at the leaderboard,” O’Toole said. ”I tried to just trust in my caddie to guide me to whether we needed to lay or get aggressive, stay patient or whatnot. It wasn’t until 18 that I saw that Lydia was not far off and I could tell when I made the birdie on 17 that there must have been some sort of gap because people were cheering, and I was like, OK, clearly I can’t mess this up too badly now.”

O’Toole was working with a new caddie, Michael Curry, after her previous looper retired following the Evian Championship. She said she had also been considering retirement.

”I’m getting married in December, and OK, my clock’s ticking. I want to have kids. Like, how much longer am I going to be out here? I thought maybe this year would be my last year,” O’Toole said. ”I’ve never wanted to be a mom on tour as far as having a kid and doing all that. It doesn’t sound fun to me. But at the same time, I don’t know if I could stop playing golf now.”

She became emotional as she celebrated the victory with Marra.

”It’s so nice to be able to share that, and to be myself out there and to have her greet me on the green and just live in a world today that I’m not scared to hide that,” O’Toole said.

Jutanugarn shot 68 and finished at 13 under, and Hull was another shot back after her fourth straight 69. Ally Ewing, who will represent the U.S. in the Solheim Cup for the second time this fall, matched Ko’s 63 and finished at 11 under.

O’Toole made the Solheim Cup team as a rookie in 2011 and went 2-0-2 in her matches, but her best tournament finish in 11 LPGA Tour seasons was third, most recently in 2018.

The LPGA remains in Scotland next week for the Women’s British Open at Carnoustie, the final major championship of the year. Five players earned spots in the Women’s British Open field thanks to their finishes at Dumbarnie: Kelsey MacDonald, Whitney Hillier, Karolin Lampert, Haeji Kang and Prima Thammaraks.

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