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Women's PGA Championship 2018: Sung Hyun Park Makes Comeback to Earn Playoff Win

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

KILDEER, IL - JULY 01:  Sung Hyun Park of South Korea celebrates a shot from the water's edge on the 16th hole during the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club on July 1, 2018 in Kildeer, Illinois.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images for KPMG)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Sung Hyun Park came back from two shots down with three holes left in regulation to win a three-way playoff by beating out So Yeon Ryu and Nasa Hataoka to capture the 2018 Women's PGA Championship

Hataoka was unable to stay in the playoff for long, settling for par on the first hole. Ryu and Park traded birdies to set up a one-on-one showdown to decide the tournament.

Following a brief weather delay, Park hit a birdie putt on the second playoff hole after Ryu missed her attempt to win her second major title. She also earned the winner's share of the $3.65 million purse

KPMGWomensPGA @KPMGWomensPGA

Sung Hyun Park is your #KPMGWomensPGA Champion!! https://t.co/2itEXZMiUq

Here is what the top of the leaderboard from Kemper Lakes Golf Club looked like after 72 holes, via LPGA.com:

1. Sung Hyun Park (-10)

T2. So Yeon Ryu (-10)

T2. Nasa Hataoka (-10)

T4. Jessica Korda (-7)

T4. Angel Yin (-7)

T6. Charley Hull (-6)

T6. Brooke Henderson (-6)

T8. Jacqui Concolino (-5)

T8. Lizette Salas (-5)

T8. In-Kyung Kim (-5)

The LPGA moved up tee times for Sunday's final round because of the evening weather forecast. Players were put in groups of three, with the leaders getting on the course around 10:30 a.m. ET. 

Hataoka was completely off the radar when the round started with a 54-hole score of two under par. Her 64 on Sunday marked the best final-round score in the history of the women's PGA Championship. 

Ryu started the day in the lead and stumbled out of the gate with a double bogey on the second hole, dropping her score to nine under par. 

She got those two shots back with consecutive birdies on No. 6 and 7 before making the turn with an even-par 36. 

The 13th hole saw Ryu open the door for her competition with a bogey. Hataoka, who was already in the clubhouse after a 64, and Park were within one shot of the lead at that point. 

KPMGWomensPGA @KPMGWomensPGA

This Sung Hyun Park birdie on 14 moves her within one of Ryu. Watch the finish of the #KPMGWomensPGA on @NBCSports in 10 minutes! https://t.co/F3ebR7eIVq

With Ryu still clinging to a one-shot lead, things took a turn at No. 16. Park put herself in a bad position by nearly hitting her ball in the water next to the green. She salvaged a par out of it thanks to this fantastic shot that wound up being her biggest shot of the day until the final putt:

KPMGWomensPGA @KPMGWomensPGA

What. A. Shot. (And the crowd reaction is also fantastic) https://t.co/U2jVhbWPGL

Ryu was able to increase her lead to two shots with a birdie on the same hole, but her tee shot on the 17th went into the water. After settling for a double bogey, she was tied with Park and Nataoka for the lead. 

Things would remain that way to set up the second playoff in an LPGA Tour major this year. The ANA Inspiration required eight playoff holes before Pernilla Lindberg finally came out on top. 

Park had three career wins on the LPGA Tour coming into this weekend, including the U.S. Women's Open last year. She is the first South Korean to win the Women's PGA Championship since Inbee Park went back-to-back-to-back from 2013 to 2015.  

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