Park earns fifth major in playoff over Lincicome

With putter in hand, Inbee Park is rarely challenged but even she would be shaking her head in dismay at the two putts she holed on the final two holes to force, and then win, a playoff for the final women’s major of the season, the Wegmans LPGA Championship in Rochester, New York.

The defending champion, Park was two back of the lead held by American Brittany Lincicome approaching the 71st hole but proceeded to hole a lengthy birdie putt to narrow the lead to one.

Inbee Park Inbee Park

At the final green, she drained another must-make putt from 15 feet for par to force the playoff, after Lincicome had suffered the opposite fate by three putting the last from off the fringe.

Tied at 11-under, the pair returned to the difficult 18th where a par four was good enough for Park’s 5th major title at the last LPGA Championship to be held in Rochester after 38 years.

World number two Lydia Ko had her chances to join the playoff but bogeyed the final two holes to finish third outright at 8-under, with Azahara Munoz and Anna Nordqvist tied for fourth at 6-under.

Lincicome shed tears after the playoff, with the disappointment of letting the title slip through her fingers tinged with satisfaction and relief at having played so well after a wretched few years on Tour.

Karrie Webb finished eleven strokes behind the winners at even par in a tie for 25th, Sarah Kemp tied 37th at two-over with Sarah Jane Smith a shot further back tied for 40th.

In 2015, the championship will be renamed the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and will come under the auspices of the PGA of America, in collaboration with the LPGA Tour.

The championship will rotate between prestigious courses in major metropolitan markets, starting with the Westchester Country Club in New York.