Sport24.co.za | South Korea's Park bags 2nd major title in playoff

Sport24.co.za | South Korea's Park bags 2nd major title in playoff
Sport24.co.za | South Korea's Park bags 2nd major title in playoff

Chicago - South Korea's Park Sung-hyun birdied twice in a weather-disrupted playoff on Sunday to win the Women's PGA Championship, capturing the second major women's golf title of her career.

The 24-year-old from Seoul, last year's US Women's Open champion, defeated compatriot Ryu So-yeon, denying her bid to reclaim the world number one ranking, and Japanese teen star Nasa Hataoka in the playoff to capture the $547 500 top prize.

Hataoka and the South Koreans each finished 72 holes at Kemper Lakes deadlocked at 10-under par 278.

Fifth-ranked Ryu and sixth-ranked Park each birdied the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, while Nataoka was eliminated with a par.

The Koreans, who shared LPGA Player of the Year honors in 2017, reached the green at the par-4 16th, the second playoff role, when play was suspended for dangerous weather in the area, halting the drama at its peak for 20 minutes as the tension mounted.

When play resumed, Ryu missed her birdie putt and Park sank hers for the victory.

Park, last year's LPGA Rookie of the Year, won her second title of the year after the LPGA Texas Classic in May. It was her fourth LPGA title overall after last year's US and Canadian Women's Open crowns.

Ryu, who won last year's ANA Inspiration and the 2011 US Women's Open, took her first title of the year two weeks ago at the LPGA Meijer Classic and hoped to more one step closer to a career Grand Slam.

Ryu, who turned 28 on Friday, would have overtaken Park Sung-hyun atop the rankings with a victory after starting the day with a three-stroke lead.

Hataoka, 19, won her first LPGA title last week in Arkansas and with more than $546 000 in the past eight days has eclipsed her prior career earnings.

In the final round, Ryu stumbled with a double bogey at the par-4 second and Park birdied the par-3 third and par-5 fourth to seize a share of the lead.

But Ryu birdied the par-3 sixth and par-5 seventh to restore a two-stroke edge at 11-under.

Hataoka, nine adrift when the day began, charged with two eagles and five birdies against a lone bogey, her back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 and two closing pars giving her the clubhouse lead at 10-under as her playoff rivals reached the turn.

Ryu added a birdie at the par-5 11th but took a bogey at the par-3 13th to stand only one ahead of Nataoka, with Park closing to within one after a birdie at 14.

Ryu responded with a birdie at the 16th, giving her a two-shot lead, but found water at the par-3 17th and made a double bogey, falling back level with Nataoka and Park, who both parred 18 to force extra holes.

Leading scores after Sunday's final round of the Women's PGA Championship (par 72, USA unless noted, Park wins playoff with birdie on second extra hole):

278 - Nasa Hataoka (JPN) 69-72-73-64, Ryu So-yeon (KOR) 69-69-67-73, Park Sung-hyun (KOR) 66-72-71-69

281 - Jessica Korda 67-75-71-68, Angel Yin 73-69-68-71

282 - Charley Hull (ENG) 68-75-72-67, Brooke Henderson (CAN) 67-71-70-74

283 - Jacqui Concolino 70-73-73-67, Lizette Salas 70-74-69-70, Kim In-kyung (KOR) 73-70-69-71

284 - Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) 68-72-73-71, Ko Jin-young (KOR) 73-72-68-71, Sarah Jane Smith 73-72-68-71, Amy Yang (KOR) 70-74-69-71

285 - Lexi Thompson 72-73-72-68, Lindy Duncan 74-71-68-72, Kim Hyo-joo (KOR) 70-72-70-73

286 - Jaye Marie Green 67-74-74-71, Amy Olson 69-74-71-72, Marina Alex 72-73-69-72, Annie Park 71-69-73-73, Ryann O'Toole 73-71-69-73, Feng Shanshan (CHN) 74-72-67-73, Bronte Law (ENG) 72-70-69-75

287 - Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG) 70-75-72-70, Minjee Lee (AUS) 69-76-72-70, Kim Sei-young (KOR) 71-71-71-74

288 - Michelle Wie 71-74-72-71, Stacy Lewis 70-76-70-72, Dani Holmqvist (SWE) 70-71-71-76

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