Park Sung-hyun claims Women's PGA Championship

Park Sung-hyun claims Women's PGA Championship

South Korean Park Sung Hyun won her second major title when she overcame compatriot Ryu So Yeon and Japan's Nasa Hataoka in a three-way play-off at the Women's PGA Championship outside Chicago yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The 2016 tournament victor finished with four bogeys and five birdies in her round.

The normally stoic 24-year-old burst into tears when victory was secured as she hugged her caddie David Jones after barely displaying a hint of emotion all day.

But as Park and Ryu played their final holes, she went out to practice, thinking she might be in a playoff against two past major champions. Park finished regulation at 3-under 69 for the round and 10-under 278 for the tournament after starting Sunday four strokes behind Ryu. Ryu had a 73.

Again, Ko started the back nine in fine fettle, with a birdie on the 11th, before a double bogey on the 12th saw the Kiwi slip once again. "That's what really made me cry", Park told reporters.

Park had three career wins on the LPGA Tour coming into this weekend, including the U.S. Women's Open previous year.

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Jessica Korda (68) and Angel Yin (71) tied for fourth at 7 under, while Brooke Henderson (74) - second through three rounds - finished at 6 under in a tie for sixth with Charley Hull. The 19-year-old's round was also the best of the day by three strokes and best of the tournament by two. Ryu was the farthest from the pin, after her second shot landed on the fringe behind the pin, but she drained the birdie attempt and put pressure on the other two.

Players have had to battle high temperatures this week and on Sunday they will start earlier than normal as weather forecasters are predicting thunderstorms in the afternoon. But her back nine was sloppy, starting well with a birdie on the 11th before a double bogey on the 12th. But Henderson's putter grew cold over the closing stretch and missed a series of birdie and par putts. Park, a prodigious ballstriker not known for her putting, answered with her own clutch birdie roll.

Park, who made her LPGA Tour debut in 2017, had a successful rookie season, winning three titles - rookie of the year, player of the year and the money title. She hit a ideal flop to 3-feet and saved par.

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 is the first South Korean to win the Women's PGA Championship since Inbee Park went back-to-back-to-back from 2013 to 2015.

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