Park wins Women's PGA; Henderson finishes tied for sixth

Virginia Santiago
July 5, 2018

Ryu's 69s give her a six-under 138 total atop the leaderboard with former Women's PGA Championship victor Henderson, who had a 71, and Park, who posted a 72.

In this EPA photo, Park Sung-hyun of South Korea cries after sinking the clinching putt on the second playoff hole to win the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Course in Kildeer, Illinois, on July 1, 2018.

Park Sung-hyun won the KPMG Women's PGA Championship on Sunday, defeating Ryu So-yeon in a tense playoff at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in IL.

It was tight at the top of the leaderboard for each of the opening two days at Kemper Lakes, but Ryu produced a flourish on the final holes of her third round to create a three shot advantage. She raised her hands over her head in celebration before hugging her caddy, David Jones, and shedding some tears.

She capped her round with a 15-foot birdie putt on 18 for a three-shot cushion.

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Park closed with a 3-under 69.

Ever since Sung Hyun Park won the 2017 U.S. Women's Open, she's been waiting to win another major.

Only 19 years old, Hataoka waited more than an hour for Park and Ryu to finish their rounds before the playoff. He won a World Golf Championship in Shanghai in 2010, though the PGA Tour did not recognize the HSBC Champions as an official win until a year later.

She posted an 11-under 205 total while Canadian Brooke Henderson shot 70 to be alone in second place on eight-under. "I think this is one more step towards winning a major", said Hataoka, who won her maiden LPGA title last Sunday at the NW Arkansas Championship.

However, Hataoka was the first to drop out of the playoff, though she made par.

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Hataoka and the South Koreans each finished 72 holes at Kemper Lakes deadlocked at 10-under par 278.

All three LPGA major champions this year have been determined in playoffs.

Fifth-ranked Ryu and sixth-ranked Park each birdied the first play-off hole, the par-four 18th, while Nataoka was eliminated with a par. On the seventh, she finished with about a 20-foot putt.

Ryu committed a double bogey at the second hole, and Park pulled even at nine-under with back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth holes. The changes were effective for Park, as she had 27 putts in the final round and not a single bogey. "Hopefully tomorrow I can just go out and put a good score together and just kind of see what happens", said Henderson, who will play in a group on Sunday with Ryu and Park.

The 13th hole saw Ryu open the door for her competition with a bogey.

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