For most players, completing a low round with another low round is a big challenge, especially on a course like Tiburón Golf Club. But for the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking No. 8 Nasa Hataoka looked easy to do in the CME Group Tour Championship on Sunday. The 22-year-old fired her second straight 8-under 64 after carding nine birdies and hitting 13 of 14 fairways and 16 greens in the final round. It’s the 11th time Hataoka has shot 64 and her total of 22 under par 266 over four days is a new career high for 72 holes, beating her previous benchmark by two strokes.
Despite ultimately finishing second to Jin Young Ko, Hataoka remains proud of her accomplishment this week in Naples, Florida and looks forward to returning, better than ever, in 2022 and ready for a record $ 86 million to fight official prize money on the LPGA tour.
“I was in the last pair today so there was a bit of pressure,” she said. “But I feel like I played my own golf so I’m very happy with it. I had one thing on my mind: routine. There were a few times when there was a lot of pressure, but I could just think, which helped me a lot today. Fortunately there are 34 tournaments next year. That is much. Of course, I can’t play every tournament, but I want to play as many as possible, so I’m preparing for it. “
It’s been an outstanding year for Japanese golf and Hataoka certainly contributed to this success by 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 second in the US Women’s Open at the Olympic Club and finished ninth in the Bank of Hope LPGA match-play from Shadow Creek. While proud of her country’s 2021 golf talent and delighted with the success of her peers, Hataoka feels that her game still leaves something to be desired this year and that she has one goal in mind as she moves forward looks to the next season.
“It was a big year for Japan. Not many players on the tour are from Japan, but I think the Masters win, Hideki’s win, was something very big for us. He lives near my home in Orlando, so we practice together. (His win) definitely meant something special to me. I would like to do something similar, “she said of Japan’s historic year 2021.” This year I didn’t really play the way I wanted until June, but I was able to play in a big tournament playoff and I won twice. Overall it wasn’t a consistent year, but the way I managed to win was good.
“When I turned pro, 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. “