Park wins Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in playoff

WATERLOO, Ontario — South Korea’s Hee Young Park beat American Angela Stanford on the third playoff hole to win the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic on Sunday.

Park reached the green on the par-5, 471-yard deciding hole in two shots and two-putted for her second career LPGA victory. Stanford needed three shots to get on the back fringe and her long birdie putt ended up a few feet short.

Both players birdied the final hole of regulation at Grey Silo Golf Course to sit tied at 26-under 258. Stanford closed with a 7-under 64 while Park, who led after the third round, had a 65.

The birdie run continued for the first two playoff holes before Park ended the drama on a hot, hazy afternoon in southwestern Ontario.

Catriona Matthew of Scotland (66) was alone in third place at 23 under. South Korea’s Inbee Park (68) finished well back at 16 under, ending her three-tournament winning streak.

Stanford was unlucky on the third playoff hole when her tee shot found the rough and settled into a depression. She used a four-wood to get out but didn’t hit it clean, with the ball landing in a fairway bunker.

She did well to get it to the back fringe on the back of the green but with Park already laying two, Stanford needed to chip in to force the issue. When her ball settled a few feet from the hole, Park had the opportunity to go up and down for the victory.

Park’s 45-foot uphill eagle putt settled a few feet from the cup and she tapped in for the win. Park earned $195,000 for winning the $1.3-million tournament, while Stanford had a payday of $120,353.

Matthew made a move early in the round and picked up her third straight birdie on No. 7 to move into the top spot with Stanford and Park in the final group, both one shot behind.

The tournament quickly turned into a three-player race.

Matthew birdied No. 11 and 12 but a bogey on the 15th hole snuffed her momentum.

Stanford had seven birdies over a bogey-free round, while Park made her move on the back nine with birdies on five of her last eight holes.

Sitting tied at 25 under entering the final hole of regulation, Stanford reached the green in two and hit a two-putt for birdie. Park pushed her approach shot wide and hit a nice chip from beside the grandstand to within four feet before draining the putt to force a playoff.

The players hopped into golf carts and returned to the tee to play until there was a winner.

Park had a chance for eagle on the first playoff hole, hitting a beautiful approach that bounced once before settling eight feet from the cup. She pushed her eagle putt wide and settled for birdie.

Stanford chipped onto the green from beside the fringe and hit a short putt for a birdie of her own.

On the second playoff hole, both players landed in the first cut beside the green. Stanford went first and chipped it within three feet and Park did the same before both players sank their putts.

Scores were low for all four rounds as players took advantage of wide fairways and greens that remained moist after heavy rain earlier in the week.

“It’s pretty crazy that you shoot 15 under and you’re not in the top 10, you know,” said American Michelle Wie, who closed with a 66. “It’s a birdie-fest out there.”

American Brittany Lang won the inaugural edition of the event in 2012 but missed the cut this year by one stroke.

Park, 26, earned her only other LPGA victory at the 2011 CME Group Titleholders. Stanford was looking for her sixth win on Tour and first since the 2012 HSBC Women’s Champions.

More in Sports

Walton has Edmonds CC men’s basketball back in contention

The sophomore forward — recovered from injury — will lead the Tritons into a rivalry battle at Everett.

Report: Seahawks to bring back Norton, Solari as assistants

Norton would replace Richard as defensive coordinator and Solari would be the offensive line coach.

Silvertips hold off Tri-City for 6-5 victory

Matt Fonteyne tied a club record with 5 assists for Everett.

UW men’s basketball players making voices heard

The Huskies’ discussion of social injustice with a professor spurred the team into action.

Karrah Smith wrestles Tim Rachal during practice at Granite Falls High School on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 in Granite Falls, Wa. She finished sixth in the 145-pound weight class at last year’s Mat Classic and is eyeing a better finish this season at 170 pounds. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Five things to know about Granite Falls’ Karrah Smith

When she’s wrestling, Karrah Smith likes to be in control. During matches… Continue reading

BLOG: Silvertips run streak to five straight with win over Tri-City

The Weekend To borrow sports parlance, the Everett Silvertips “got the result… Continue reading

BLOG: ‘Big Walt’ visits Everett to to drop puck and Silvertips win

I want to thank @Benton_Mike, the @WHLsilvertips and @C_Hart70 for welcoming me… Continue reading

Monday’s prep results, with links to recaps

Here are Monday’s prep results, with links to recaps: BOYS BASKETBALL Wesco… Continue reading

POLL: Will Edgar Martinez get into the Hall of Fame?

The Seattle Mariners legend will learn on Jan. 24 whether he received enough votes for enshrinement

Most Read