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04 July 2018, 08:57 | Charlene Valdez
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Nasa Hataoka, who had come out of nowhere with a final-round 64 that included two eagles, had been eliminated on the first playoff hole. Park, a prodigious ballstriker not known for her putting, answered with her own clutch birdie roll.
On that first playoff hole, the hard 18th, Ryu had drained a tough birdie putt from the fringe. Park raised her arms and placed her hands on her head before hugging her caddie and wiping away tears.
But this time, it was Park's turn. "I played solid. I know I missed a few fairways, but I tried to put myself in good positions. I think I lack that sense of tension".
The 24 year old who earned the LPGA's Rookie of the Year award in 2017 after winning the U.S. Women's Open, defeated two rivals in a playoff to capture the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Sunday.
Yet after a hard year, it was Park's day. Ryu, who won the ANA Inspiration past year and the U.S. Women's Open in 2011, has had top three results at all five women's majors. She finally broke through at a weather-shortened Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic on May 6, and her latest major title should further silence skeptics.
"It was my first time doing that kind of shot", said Park. Park made a brilliant par save on 16.
Park's second shot from more than 200 yards landed pin high but took a huge bounce over the green, from where she hit a poor chip that nearly trickled into a water hazard on the other side. She had to hit a flop shot standing inches from the water, with the ball nestled under the high grass around the lake.
Defending champion Danielle Kang (69) had moved two shots of the lead before a pair of bogeys on her final three holes left her four back.
Ryu was sporting in defeat, congratulating her opponent and insisting "one day I want to lift that trophy".
"I didn't expect it would be a playoff when I was going up", Hataoka said. "I did what I'd do with a bunker shot".
Ancer birdied two of his last three holes for the lowest score of his career, an 8-under 62, giving the 27-year-old Mexican his best shot at a first PGA Tour victory. "I made it to a playoff in a major". "I even made jokes with David and (that) really made me comfortable".
Birdies on 14 and 15 saw the South Korean create daylight with Canada's Brooke Henderson and she then increased her lead with a birdie on the last in a five under 67.
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