Nasa Hataoka: “Impossibile in this weather”

She built her victory in the first round, accumulating a six-shot lead over two pursuers at the end of the third. Then, she was declared the winner without even taking the field in the fourth lap, canceled due to bad weather. Nasa Hataoka with a total of 194 (61 69 64, -19) strokes won the Marathon LPGA Classic in the United States, an LPGA Tour tournament shortened to 54 holes (from the 72 initially planned) due to a strong storm that hit Highland Meadows Golf Club course in Sylvania, Ohio.

Nasa Hataoka, statements

“It would have been nice to finish the tournament but in this weather it was impossible. I’m happy to be able to celebrate this victory after a great match.” This is the joy of the Japanese who celebrated her fourth career success on the top American female circuit, the first of her after more than two years from the last time (Kia Classic in March 2019). Thus bringing to ten victories at a professional level given the 6 exploits on the LPGA of Japan Tour.

An important victory for the 22-year-old from Ibaraki, second this year at the US Women’s Open, which also earned her $ 300,000 against a total prize pool of 2,000,000. With the Japanese who stemmed the competition of the Americans Elizabeth Szokol and Mina Harigae, second with 200 (-13), also taking revenge against the Filipina Yuka Saso (who had beaten her at the US Women’s Open), 5 / a with 202 (-11) also behind the German Esther Henseleit, 4 / a with 201 (-12).

Everyone in Norway is going crazy for Viktor Hovland. The victory at the BMW International Open transformed an afternoon of his undercover in a Norwegian club into a national and non-national media event. And so, what should have been 18 holes in relaxation with three friends have become 18 holes in relaxation with three friends and three hundred fans on the green.

Power of golf and power of the Internet. The 23-year-old is one of the young rampants of the international circuit, in constant growth and with one foot already in history. The number 14 in the world ranking has two titles on the bulletin board on the PGA Tour (the first Norwegian to impose itself in the USA, in the Puerto Rico Open 2020 and in the Mayakoba Classic 2020). As if that weren’t enough, at the end of June he was the first Norwegian to win a race on the European Tour. The success at the BMW International Open came at the end of June on the Munich Eichenried course: Hovland won with two strokes off Martin Kaymer and four Jorge Campillo.

Returning to his homeland after the success, Viktor had opted for a sabbatical week. No contact with the professional golf world: no interviews, no appearances and no interventions via Zoom. In the Oslo player’s plans, the will to regenerate on a mental level ahead of next week’s Open Championship.

His program includes a lot of golf but in great secrecy, including eighteen holes with three friends at Larvik Golfklubb, a club two hours’ drive from Oslo. The chosen playmates were Andreas Halvorsen (professional on the Latin American tour), Kevin André Wright (pro and former Norwegian champion) and former footballer John Arne Riise.

So far so good. None of the four, however, had calculated Golfbox, the Norwegian gesgolf, the site where tee times are booked. A member of the Larvik Golfklubb, looking for a time to his liking, came across the name “Viktor Hovland h.16.00” and couldn’t believe his eyes. He immediately photographed the page to turn it on a Facebook group. Once socialized, you know, the photo has no limits.

So at 4pm one day last week, three hundred Hovland fans showed up in Larvik to meet him. However, the “leak” did not scare the 23-year-old who, between a selfie and an autograph, played accompanied by his audience.