For most players, backing up one low round with another low round is a big task, especially on a course like Tiburón Golf Club. But for Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 8, Nasa Hataoka, the task seemed easy to accomplish on Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship. The 22-year-old fired his second straight 8-under 64 after mapping nine birdies and hitting 13 out of 14 fairways as well as 16 greens in the final round. It’s the 11th time Hataoka has shot 64, and her four-day total of 22-under par 266 is a new career-best for 72 holes, surpassing her previous benchmark by two shots.
Although she eventually finished in second place to Jin Young Ko, Hataoka is still proud of her performance this week in Naples, Fla., And looks forward to coming back better than ever in 2022, ready to compete for a record $ 86 million in official prize money on the LPGA Tour.
“Today I was in the last mating, so there was a little bit of pressure with that,” she said. “But I feel like I was playing my own golf, so I’m really happy with that. I had one thing on my mind: routine. There were a few times where there was a lot of pressure, but I was able to think single, which helped me a lot today. Luckily there are 34 tournaments next year. That’s a lot. Obviously I can not play all the tournaments but I want to play as many as I can so I will prepare me to it. “
It’s been a banner year for Japanese golf, and Hataoka has certainly contributed to that success, winning twice on the LPGA Tour at the Dana Open presented by Marathon and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. She also finished in second place at the US Women’s Open at the Olympic Club and finished in a ninth place in the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play hosted by Shadow Creek. While proud of her country’s golf skills through 2021 and delighted with the success of her opponents, Hataoka feels her game this year still left something to be desired and she will have a unique goal at the forefront as she looks forward to next season .
“It was a big year for Japan. Not many players on the Tour are from Japan, but I think the Masters victory, Hideki’s victory, was something very big for us. He lives close to where I live in Orlando, so we practice together. (His victory) definitely meant something special to me. I would love to do something like that, “she said of Japan’s historic 2021.” This year, I did not really play as I wanted to until June, but I was able to play in a playoff in a big tournament and I won twice.In general, it was not a consistent year, but it was good how I could win.
“When I became a professional, one of my biggest goals was to win a major in five years. This year was the fifth year, so I really wanted to win this year. That goal will not change. I still have strong feelings about winning majors. ”