South Korea's Sung Hyun Park has won the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes in Chicago, after a three way playoff with compatriot So Yeon Ryu and Nasa Hataoka from Japan.
A victory by Ryu would give her three legs of the grand slam, after the 2011 U.S. Women's Open and the 2017 ANA Inspiration.
Park and Ryu each birdied the first playoff hole before Park sealed the win with a birdie on the second extra hole.
And she continued to head in the wrong direction as the tournament wrapped up at the Kemper Lakes Golf Club early Monday (NZT), with the 21-year-old Kiwi posting a four-over 76 to finish on one over, in a tie for 31st.
Hataoka ultimately fell at the first playoff hole, a flat ending to a day that had started with her nine strokes off the lead. And Park picked up her second straight birdie in the playoff to complete an impressive rally. "I tried not to think about it too much but as the final groups were finishing their round, I thought, 'maybe'".
"I think more would start playing", she said. The world's sixth-ranked player, she is the sixth South Korean to win multiple majors and the third to win this particular event, equaling Australia for the second-most behind the United States.
But while clubhouse leaders Park and Ryu awaited their playoff tied at 10-under-par, Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka nearly rewrote the script, coming from nowhere with a final round 64 to join them in the sudden-death shootout.
Park, last year's LPGA Rookie of the Year, won her second title of the year after the LPGA Texas Classic in May.
The Japanese teenager carded an outstanding eight-under 64, but that was only enough to bring her level with Ryu and Park, who each missed birdie chances at the last to take it to a three-way play-off. "It was my first time shooting two eagles". On the other hand, she won the tournament before that. She took a two-stroke lead on the 16th but hit into the water on the par-3 17th en route to a double bogey. (But) I wasn't nervous at all.
"Even I was surprised at the result".
"I want to finish strong, but as I said, it is just better not to expect anything".
On the first playoff hole, Ryu was the farthest from the cup among three contestants, and she drained her long attempt from the back of the green.
Park said she did her best to stay in the moment and not get distracted by what Ryu had done.
"The chip shot [for birdie on the par-four fifth] was a pretty tough one, but I made the birdie and I was able to have two birdies under my belt after like five holes, so that was pretty happy", Ryu told the LPGA's official website.