Park defeats Lincicome in playoff to win LPGA Championship
08/17/2014 7:58 PM
08/17/2014 9:15 PM
Pittsford, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Inbee Park made par on the first playoff hole on Sunday while Brittany Lincicome bogeyed, giving Park her fifth career major title and second straight Wegmans LPGA Championship victory.
With Lincicome in the left rough and Park off the back of the green on the playoff hole, which was the 18th at Monroe Golf Club, Lincicome chipped her ball about five feet past the hole. Park put her shot around three feet short of the hole.
"I think I had to hit a lot of shots closer from longer distance, obviously," Park said about her play this week. "I had to make a lot of putts."
Lincicome missed her par putt and Park kicked hers in for a dramatic win. Lincicome also bogeyed the final hole of regulation, which wound up forcing the playoff.
Both Park and Lincicome ended regulation at 11-under-par 277. Park carded a final-round, 2-under 277, while Lincicome managed a 1-under 71. Lincicome was trying to become the fourth straight American to win a major this season.
"I'm very happy to defend my title and actually have a second win of the year," Park said.
Lydia Ko, the 17-year-old phenom who has already won four times on the LPGA Tour, ended alone in third at 8-under 280 following a final-round 70. Azahara Munoz (70) and Anna Nordqvist (71) finished at 6-under 282, five shots back.
Starting the day with a 1-shot lead over Park and Suzann Pettersen, Lincicome made par on her first two holes. Park was even through three and Pettersen fell off the pace with a double-bogey at the first to fall to minus-7. She never recovered and ended well off the pace at 5-under following a 76.
Park's first birdie of the day on four briefly moved her into a tie for first, but Lincicome responded with her first gain at the third to take the lead back at 11-under.
Park, playing in the penultimate group just ahead of Lincicome and Pettersen's final pairing, missed a short par putt to drop a shot back. At nearly the same moment, Lincicome missed a short putt as well to fall a shot at No. 6.
Lincicome drained a 10-foot birdie putt at the eighth to get to minus-11 again and move two shots clear of Park. Lincicome's lead briefly became three with a birdie at No. 11, but Park gained another shot on 12 to remain two back.
A poor chip shot on 12 resulted in a bogey for Lincicome, and her lead was cut to just one. She responded two holes later with a birdie at 14 to go two shots up yet again.
Park's putter came alive at the 17th when she drained a long birdie to move to minus-11, one shot back. Then on 18, with Lincicome waiting in the fairway behind her, Park poured in another long putt, this one for par, to stay one behind Lincicome.
"I had a lot of really good putts made on 17 and 18 today. I think that was the big help to go in the playoff," Park said.
Needing a par on the 18th, Lincicome's approach found the fringe nearly in the same spot as her approach in the playoff. Lincicome's putt came up about 10- feet short and her par putt slid by the hole on the left, forcing a playoff.
"Finishing second at a major is always a good thing," Lincicome said. "Obviously I would have liked to have been the one holding the trophy on the 18th green right now. Feel like I played really, really well this week. Hopefully we can keep that going the rest of the year."
Ko played well early on and got within one shot of the lead at one point, but back-to-back bogeys to end her round left her three shots back in the end. She had four bogeys in total to go along with six birdies.
Munoz also contended for a while and came within a couple of the lead, but a double-bogey on 16 and a bogey on 18 put her well off the pace in the end. She also had six birdies in her final round.
NOTES: Park is now has a 3-1 record in playoffs in her career. Lincicome is now 0-3 ... Park has won four of the last nine major championships on the LPGA Tour ... Park earned $337,500 with the victory ... The LPGA Tour heads to the Canadian Pacific Women's Open next week.
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