Romance spurs Kang and McNealy to greater heights

Photo by Yifan Ding/Getty Images

Danielle Kang has credited boyfriend Maverick McNealy, who plays on the PGA Tour, for helping her defend the Buick LPGA Shanghai title over the weekend.

And it’s a two-way thing for the couple. A week earlier, McNealy noted that advice from Kang helped him card the best round of his fledgling PGA Tour career – a closing 65 in the Houston Open which vaulted him up the standings to a T17 finish. Once ranked the world’s top amateur, McNealy turned professional in 2017 and recently earned his 2019-2020 PGA Tour card through the Korn Ferry Tour.

“We both work on a lot of similar things and we keep each other positive. We want each other to be better and perform the best we can,” said Kang following her narrow one-shot win over Jessica Korda.

Maverick McNealy (Photo by Sam Greenwood / Getty Images)

Kang carded rounds of 69, 67, 66 and 70 at Qizhong Garden Golf Club to break her own tournament record total of 16-under 272. It was a nice birthday present for the popular American, who turned 27 on Sunday.

Speaking to McNealy on Saturday morning, Kang noted, helped her hold it together over the weekend.

“I wasn’t feeling like myself yesterday before my tee time and I was talking to him on FaceTime up until tee-off … things like that,” she said. “Calming each other down and talking through what you’re feeling, whether it’s shots and some of the shots that I hit. It’s just to tell somebody that understands what you’re going through on and off the golf course.

“So, yeah, we both work on stuff to be positive … especially to be on the golf course.”

This was Kang’s third LPGA title, with her other win coming in a Major at the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She became the fifth winner from the United States this season, joining Cydney Clanton, Cheyenne Knight, Nelly Korda and Lexi Thompson.

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