Golf

Park Inbee retains her LPGA Championship title

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South Korea's Inbee Park claimed the fifth major of her career after she beat Brittany Lincicome in a play-off to retain her LPGA Championship title.

Lincicome was left in tears after the overnight leader bogeyed the final hole when she only needed a par for victory. The three putt on the 18th meant that she finished level with Park on 11 under for the tournament and a play-off was needed.

Tense finale

It appeared that Lincicome was affected by throwing away her lead on the 18th when she bogeyed the same hole during the play-off meaning Park, who parred it, won her fourth major in two years.

The 26-year-old acknowledged that she was fortunate to be given the opportunity for a play-off and is delighted to have successfully defended her title.

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"It's lucky that I actually got an opportunity," Park told reporters.

"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."

Late comeback

Park was three shots behind Lincicome with just seven holes left to play at the Monroe Golf Club in New York but managed to reel her in over the final few holes.

A birdie on the 17th and then a 12 foot par putt on the last saw Park apply some pressure on Lincicome. But Lincicome looked to have sealed her second major title when had a comfortable par putt for victory. but her attempt slide agonisingly past the hole.

In the play-off hole, Lincicome missed a six foot par putt after finding the fringe with her approach while Park sank her three foot putt to win.

Park's win in this tournament last year also came via a play-off when she triumphed over Catriona Matthew at Locust Hill.

Pressure told

Lincicome admitted that the occasion got to her but was happy to have finished second at a major.

"Not being in this position for a while, I think it all caught up with me," said the 28-year old, who won the Kraft Nabisco in 2009. "Being second at a major is always a good thing. It was nice to be in contention again."

Park won three majors in 2013 and after her recent victory is likely to move up from third to second in the world ranking overtaking 17-year old Lydia Ko of New Zealand. Ko is still trying to become the youngest major winner in LPGA history after finishing third just three shots adrift of Park and Lincicome.

World number one Stacy Lewis finished on five under for the tournament as the American finished along side Sweden's Suzann Pettersen who had started the final round just one shot off the lead.

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Topics:
PGA Tour
Golf

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