Xiaowen Yin is on a roll. The Chinese-born player won her second Epson Tour event in a row on Sunday, and, in the process, she picked up the biggest winner's check in the tour's 42-year history.
Yin prevailed by a shot over Gabby Then to win the French Lick Charity Classic, which was contested for the first time this year on the resort's Pete Dye course in a 72-hole event. Yin's 7-under 271 total was good enough for a one-stroke win, the culmination of a topsy-turvy, marathon week tipped off by a Thursday that was practically wiped out due to weather.
“I feel incredible,” said Yin. “Unbelievable. Amazing.”
The Sunday payoff came after a long day of golf. Yin wrapped up her third round on Sunday morning before going out late for the final round. Late in the round, three consecutive birdies from hole Nos. 13-15 cemented her status at the top of the leaderboard over 54-hole leader Gabriella Then, who was also looking for her second win of the season.
“I didn’t realize I could win,” said Yin. “I was thinking maybe third place or second place, I’ll take it. But I never thought I could win. Seriously.”
In the end, Then couldn't find the birdie to catch Yin and force a playoff. Meanwhile, Germany's Polly Mack shot 4-under 68 in the final round for the top score on the course and earned a third-place finish.
For Yin, her rookie Epson Tour season has turned in two tournaments. Just two weeks ago, Yin had four top-10 finishes on the season and was in 23rd on the money list. Then she won the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Michigan, following up with the title in French Lick. She's now second on the Epson Tour money list, with the top 10 players at the end of the season earning an LPGA Tour card for 2023.
The former world No. 7 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking is practically a lock to make the jump to the LPGA Tour with just one season on the Epson Tour.