Lang wins first LPGA title in sudden-death playoff
Sunday, June 24, 2012
WATERLOO, Ontario — Brittany Lang won the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title, birdieing the par-5 18th three straight times in a playoff.
Lang missed a birdie try on the hole in regulation, leaving her tied with South Korean players Hee Kyung Seo, Inbee Park and Chella Choi at 16-under 286. Choi was eliminated on the first extra hole, and Park dropped out on the second.
"I can't believe it took me seven years to win a tournament out here," said Lang, the first Duke player to win on the LPGA Tour. "I hadn't been that good under pressure and I'm getting better, and I'm so thankful that it happened this week and I'll only get stronger from here."
"I still can't believe that I'm the first Dukie to ever win an LPGA tournament. That blows my mind with all the talent that comes out of there, but I'm very thankful and very honored."
On the third extra hole, Lang hit her approach into a greenside bunker and blasted out to 6 feet to set up her winning birdie putt.
"The last putt to win, I felt way better than I did in regulation," Lang said.
Lang closed with her second straight 67, Choi had a 63, Seo a 67, and Park a 69.
"Today wasn't the best day for playing today," Park said. "I left a lot of putts out there, I think. Today was just not my day. Maybe the next time."
Lang, Seo and Park, playing together in the final threesome at Grey Silo, all had a chance to win in regulation, but settled for pars on the finishing hole to set up the playoff.
"I was just extremely nervous on the last hole to make that putt in regulation and it was just, my hands were shaking, it wasn't a good putt, but I gathered myself," Lang said. "And it was a really good experience for me to have that playoff go on that long because it was just good to be in the hunt and in the thick of things and it was a good practice for me."
Stacy Lewis, a two-time winner this year, and U.S. Women's Open champion So Yeon Ryu shot 64 to tie for fifth at 15 under. Lewis opened with a 72, then shot 64-69-64.
"Yeah, if I could go back and redo round one, I think I would be in a little better spot," Lewis said. "I'm just proud of the way I came back and finished it out really strong."
China's Shanshan Feng, coming off a major victory two weeks ago in the LPGA Championship, was another stroke back along with Anna Nordqvist. Feng had a 66, and Nordqvist a 67.
Michelle Wie tied for 68th at 3 over. She shot a 74.