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Hee Young Park wins LPGA event in playoiff

The SportsXchange

Hee Young Park beat Angela Stanford by sinking a birdie putt on the third playoff hole Sunday to win the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic at Grey Silo Golf Course at Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Stanford and Park finished tied for the lead after 72 holes at 26-under-par after both players birdied the final regulation hole.

Stanford had a 7-under 64 on Sunday, while Park, who led after the third round, had a 65.

Park trailed Stanford by three strokes with five holes to go, but birdied four of the final five holes to shoot 30 on the back nine and force the playoff.

"I mean, still can't believe it," said Park, who is from South Korea. "And then I have to go back to No. 18 tee again and my caddie and I worked hard and were never disappointed. Even missed the putt even during the round, and then tried to get simple. That's what worked, and then that brought the good result."

Both players birdied the first two playoff holes, before Park birdied the deciding hole for the victory.

It was the second career LPGA victory for the 26-year-old Park, who participated in her first playoff.

Stanford was obviously disappointed.

"Yeah, it seems kind of tough to swallow right now, but you know like today, if somebody would have told me you're going to shoot 64 today and not win, I would have thought they were crazy," said Stanford. "So for me to shoot 64-64 on the weekend, you know, it's good for me but it's not a W, so you play to win."

Catriona Matthew of Scotland held the lead through 12 holes on Sunday, but did not have any birdies after that and bogeyed the 15th to finish the day with 66.

"I just got a flyer out of the rough," said Matthew of the bogey. "That rough is kind of sticky, you know, and I've not been hitting it quite as far out of it and then that one was a bit of a flyer."

She wound up third, three strokes behind the leaders at 23-under.

Meena Lee finished alone in fourth, three shots behind Matthew.

Inbee Park of South Korea, who has taken a firm hold on the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Women' World Rankings by winning six times this year including the first three majors of the season, shot a 3-under-par 68 in the final round to finish at 16-under, 10 strokes behind the leaders.

Inbee Park was bidding to become the first player to win four consecutive LPGA Tour events since Lorena Ochoa did it in 2008.
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