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(LEAD) Park Hee-young wins first LPGA tour title in 7 years

All News 19:04 February 09, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info from 7th para)

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Park Hee-young captured her first LPGA title in nearly seven years in an all-Korean playoff on Sunday, winning the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Australia.

She shot a one-over 73 on the last day at the 13th Beach Golf Club in Victoria to tie with her compatriots Choi Hye-jin and Ryu So-yeon with an eight-under 281.

Park won the fourth playoff hole with a par, while Choi hit the rough and failed to recover. Ryu was eliminated after the second playoff hole.

It is her third LPGA title since her debut in 2008 and her first tour trophy following the one that she collected at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in 2013.

She lost LPGA status last year due to poor performance, but she regained it after finishing runner-up at the LPGA qualifying event.

With the title, Park took home prize money of US$165,000, while Choi and Ryu received $90,049 each.

Park's victory was the first South Korean LPGA win of the 2020 season, following a runner-up finish by Park In-bee at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions last month.

Last year, South Korean golfers combined for 15 wins out of 32 LPGA tournaments.

Park entered the fourth round at nine-under on Sunday, three strokes behind then-leader Cho A-yeon of South Korea, the 2019 KLPGA Rookie of the Year.

Despite two bogeys on the 14th and 17th, Park's last birdie putt on the 18th hole helped her get the chance to compete in the playoff and finally win the tournament.

Cho, the leader after the third round, finished 16th with a three-under 286 in total, as she hit nine over in the final round.

Park Hee-young in a photo provided by the LPGA (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr
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