Catriona Matthew wins with help of Hee-Won Han

This time, a playoff at the Wendy’s Championship for Children wasn’t so kind to Hee-Won Han. But it was a pleasant surprise for Catriona Matthew.

In 2003, Han earned her second LPGA victory with a three-hole playoff victory over Wendy Ward at Tartan Fields Golf Club. This year, Han missed a 5-foot putt for par on the first playoff hole Aug. 22 to hand Matthews her second LPGA triumph.

“I thought Hee-Won would hole her putt,” Matthew said. “I was getting ready to go down to 10 (the second playoff hole). I heard the crowd. I was obviously delighted.”

Playing in the final group, Han and Matthew each parred the 18th hole to force the playoff, with Han’s 4-footer sliding in the side of the cup. Both finished regulation play at 10-under-par 278. Han shot a final-round 70 to Matthews’ 4-under 68.

The pair played the 18th again on the first hole of the playoff. Han’s drive was short and her second shot on the par-4 hole landed 60 feet away on the fringe near the upper tier of the green, while Matthew’s second shot ended up 30 feet away, but on the lower tier where the hole was cut. Han’s birdie try rolled 5 feet past the hole, and Matthew two-putted for her par. Han then pulled her putt left of the hole, giving Matthew her first win since the 2001 Hawaiian Ladies Open.

Han, however, seemed more upset about her missed par putt at the par-5 14th that left an open door for Matthew.

“That was my big mistake,” said Han, who has finished first or second at this event each of the last three years.

Matthew, who turned 35 Aug. 25, has finished 10th, 15th and 21st in earnings the past three years, but the Scotland native has had three runner-up finishes since her victory.

“To kind of hold it together and come out with the win, it’s fantastic,” she said.

Lorena Ochoa (Sunday-best 67) and Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (68) also contended down the stretch, but the 135-yard 17th hole ruined both players’ chances. Ochoa hit her tee shot into the pond fronting the green and made bogey. She birdied No. 18 to finish one shot out of the playoff.

Meunier-Lebouc was tied for the lead with Han as she stepped to the 17th tee. She hit a 9-iron short, landing the ball on the steep bank just beyond the pond, but the ball bounced back into the water and she made a double-bogey 5. At the 18th, she hit her approach into another pond and finished tied for fourth.

“I hit one really bad shot and a fairly bad shot on 18,” Meunier-Lebouc said. “The rest of the day was wonderful.”

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