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Alex storms past Hall for first LPGA win

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Marina Alex broke through to win her first LPGA title in spectacular fashion Sunday at the Cambia Portland Classic.

She won with a bold final-round charge.

Six shots back at day’s start, Alex won in a four-shot runaway.

With five consecutive birdies on the front nine, Alex caught and passed Georgia Hall, winner of last month’s Ricoh Women’s British Open.

Alex was two shots ahead by the time she made the turn.

“It was an incredible day,” Alex said. “I’m proud of myself.”

Alex closed with a 7-under-par 65, leaving her at 19 under overall.

Hall had a two-shot lead over Minjee Lee when Sunday dawned, and the final round appeared as if it was going to be a duel between them. It never came off, with Hall closing with a 75 and Lee struggling to a 77.

Alex, who opened the tournament with a 62, found her best again Sunday at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. She shot 30 on the front nine.

Full-field scores from the Cambia Portland Classic

“My hat's off to her,” Hall said. “She played amazing, and she deserves to win. But I came second, and it was a great tournament for me still, and I'm really pleased.”

Alex, 28, won in her 124th LPGA start. She’s a former Vanderbilt standout in her sixth season on tour.

“It's been a lot of hard work,” Alex said. “I haven't been in a ton of contention situations. A few here and there. I really just didn't know how to handle them. I learned the best that I can.”

Alex didn’t look as if she was closing out her first victory. She hit every fairway but one, and she hit 15 greens in regulation. She had some special help along her way, with Travis Wilson on her bag as caddie. He’s the regular caddie for Stacy Lewis, on loan to Alex while Lewis is on maternity leave.

“He's such a wonderful guy, and he has such a calm demeanor about him,” Alex said. “It definitely helped me relax.”

And deliver the best performance of her career.