N.J. Native Marina Alex First-time Winner On LPGA Tour
Wayne native Marina Alex won her first LPGA Tour title on Sunday at the Cambia Portland Classic in Oregon.
Alex closed with a 7-under-par 65 to finish four strokes ahead of third-round leader Georgia Hall and win her first Tour event since turning pro in 2012. Alex finished at 19-under 269. She began the round six shots behind Hall and did not know where she stood until the final hole.
"I kind of just pretended all day that I was behind and I needed to play catch-up," said Alex, 28, "and I think it really helped me just play my best." Alex is now ranked No. 30 in the world and No. 7 among American golfers behind Lexi Thompson (5), Jessica Korda (11), Cristie Kerr (17), Michelle Wie (20), Lizette Salas (23) and Danielle Kang (29).
Alex was a two-time New Jersey high school champion at Wayne Hills, an All-American at Vanderbilt and is in her fifth full season on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour. This marked her 124th Tour event.
She had eight birdies and one bogey Sunday at the Columbia Edgewater Macan Course. She had five consecutive birdies, starting on the par-5 fifth hole, and played her front nine at 6-under 30 to take the lead. She did not bogey until the 18th hole.
Alex was enjoying her best season prior to winning this title. She had three top-five finishes, including a tie for second at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in March. She was third at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in June in South Jersey. She is the fifth American to win on Tour this season.
"The first day I played so incredible, and I knew that it was in there, " said Alex, who opened Thursday with 62 and followed with a pair of 71s. "[Saturday] and Friday I was a little nervous. It's tough to back up the first round with some good rounds. I shot 1-under each day and I thought I played OK. It was actually nice having such a hole I needed to dig myself out of, so I just felt like I could go out there and free-wheel it today and make as many birdies as I could." - Greg Mattura, Northjersey.com