LPGA Championship: Inbee Park wins fifth major
South Korea’s Inbee Park dug deep in a play-off to overcome the ferocious intensity of Brittany Lincicome in New York to retain her LPGA Championship title and win her fifth career major event.
Lincicome entered the final day’s fray as overnight leader and needed a par at the last to claim victory, but a three-putt bogey saw the impressive American finish level with Park on 11 under, forcing the pair into a play-off.
Park hit a two-under 70 in round four and carried that form into the play-off where she landed a par on the first hole to win a fourth major in only two years.
"It's lucky that I actually got an opportunity," said the 26-year-old. "I'm very happy to defend my title and have a second win of the year.
"I thought I probably won't get an opportunity with Brittany coming up the last and if she made a par I would not have gone into a play-off."
Park trailed Lincicome by three shots with seven to play at Monroe Golf Club, but managed to reel her back over the final few holes to lock the pair in an exciting play-off to determine the winner.
Park wasted little time as she birdied the 17th before rolling in a 12-foot par-putt to put the pressure firmly on the shoulders of Lincicome, who needed to par the 18th to win her second major.
28-year-old Lincicome found the fringe with her approach, which left her first putt eight feet short. She then watched as her attempt for par slid past the hole.
The play-off proved too much for Lincicome as she mixed a six-foot par-putt on the par-four 18th after once again finding the fringe with her approach, while Park, who also missed the green with her second shot, chipped to three feet and sank the putt for the victory.
"Not being in this position for a while, I think it all caught up with me," said 2009 Kraft Nabisco winner Lincicome.
"Being second at a major is always a good thing. It was nice to be in contention again."
Park achieved three major wins in 2013, and has managed to add to her tally. She is now projected to move up from third to second in the world, passing 17-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand.