Throughout major championship history, there has been an abundance of indelible winning moments — and losing ones.
Unfortunately for Stephanie Meadow, she’s now included in the latter part of that statement.
Playing Baltusrol’s closing par 5 on the Lower Course in the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the 31-year-old Northern Irishwoman needed an eagle to match the lead at 8 under and force a playoff with eventual champion Ruoning Yin.
But with 217 yards to the front edge of the 18th green and 243 yards to the hole, Meadow topped a 3-wood. It skipped over the water that sits left of the fairway, barely advancing and settling in the rough, essentially ending her victory hopes.
“Obviously that was not my career best shot there on the second,” she said following her 1-under 70 final round. “Yeah, I got lucky, and I knew it, and I still tried to make birdie. Sometimes the golf gods are in your favor and sometimes they’re not, so they were looking out for me right there, but I’ll just wipe that from the memory for now.”
Impressively, though, she still made par.
“It could have been way worse,” she said. “It was great to have that putt. The third shot was a really solid shot, so out of the rough to give myself a good look. But it happens.”
Earlier in the round, Meadow’s group, which included 54-hole leader Leona Maguire and Jenny Shin, was put on the clock (after play was suspended for nearly two hours due to thunderstorms) for slow play.
“After we restarted, I think we just fell behind really quickly,” Meadow said. “I looked over, and they were like a hole and a half, two holes in front of us. But it’s part of it. I think nine years being out here, you know how to handle being on the clock. You try not to let it get to you. Certainly makes you rush a little bit here and there, but we caught back up.”
She wasn’t rushed by the time she reached her 72nd hole, but tried to swing a little too hard and cost herself a chance at victory.
Meadow, however, posted a T-3 finish, her best on the LPGA since November 2020.
Afterward, the world’s 151st-ranked player was all smiles walking into the interview area, despite falling short of major championship glory.
“It’s been a long time since I finished tied for third, and the check is not bad,” she said with a laugh after claiming $423,070 from the $10 million purse. “I did my best. I laid it all out there, and that’s all I can do, and I’m excited to go home for two weeks.”
Source: Golf Channel