Madelene Sagstrom kept her cool down the stretch as she became the latest player to break her LPGA duck

Gainbridge LPGA report: What happened at Boca Rio?

The Gainbridge LPGA was action packed to the very last hole as Madelene Sagstrom and Nasa Hataoka went head-to-head on the back nine.

An epic duel ensued as 54-hole leader Sagstrom went in search of her first tour victory and Hataoka was looking to bounce back from her play-off defeat last Monday at the Tournament of Champions.

Sagstrom, who had her boyfriend’s father on the bag, started her day poorly with some early nerves showing. She made bogeys at the 2nd and 5th holes and this saw her playing partner, Hataoka, take the advantage.

This perhaps worked in the Swede’s favour as she settled into the rhythm that had got her in a strong position to begin with.

Birdies at 8, 10 and 11 saw her regain the lead and pull one shot ahead of Hataoka and Danielle Kang who put in a late push. Kang’s back nine comprised of a single birdie and eight pars but she would come up two shots shy.

Sagstrom, who played on Europe’s 2017 Solheim Cup team, fell behind once more after 16 holes when Hataoka knocked in a second consecutive birdie but she would not hold onto her lead for long.

At the par-3 17th the Swede made birdie to join her partner at the top and send the pair tied down the 18th and that was where the final drama unfolded.

Both players were left with par putts – Hataoka with just five feet and Sagstrom with eight. First to play, Sagstrom put the pressure on by rolling her effort in and this would be her last stroke of the day as Hataoka missed for a hugely costly bogey.

Sagstrom ended the week on 17-under and will view her career best round of 62 on Friday as a crucial point in her first victory.

France’s Celine Boutier recorded a solo 4th and Sei young Kim, who won the Tour Championship in 2019, rounded out the top five.

Gainbridge LPGA leaderboard

-17 Madelene Sagstrom

-16 Nasa Hataoka

-15 Danielle Kang

-13 Celine Boutier

-11 Sei Young Kim

Full leaderboard (external site)​