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Amy Yang takes maiden LPGA title on home soil in playoff

2013/10/20 16:55

By Yoo Jee-ho

INCHEON, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- Amy Yang of South Korea captured the LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship in a playoff here on Sunday for her first career LPGA win.

Yang birdied the first playoff hole at the par-72 Ocean Course at Sky72 Golf Club to defeat compatriot Seo Hee-kyung at the only LPGA event in South Korea.

Both players ended the 54-hole regulation at 9-under par. Back on the par-5 18th for the playoff, Yang drove to the deep rough on the right and had to chip out to the fairway before hitting her third shot to the green to set up the birdie chance.

Seo also landed her tee shot in rough and punched out to the fairway to hit her third, which landed about 25 feet below the hole.

After Seo's birdie attempt just grazed the cup, Yang stepped up to drain the 12-foot putt to clinch her first LPGA victory.

Yang, whose Korean first name is Hee-young, has three wins on the Ladies European Tour and another on the Korean LPGA Tour to her credit.

"It feels so amazing," Yang said in a television interview afterward. She's been playing full-time on the LPGA Tour since 2009. "I've waited a long time. I did my best and I am happy."

   Yang began the day at 6-under, one shot off the co-leaders Katherine Hull-Kirk and Anna Nordqvist. Yang had a steady front nine, picking up a birdie on the par-3 eighth.

Her only blemish of the day came with a bogey on the par-4 11th, but she quickly bounced back with a hole-out eagle on the par-4 15th. She made another birdie on the 18th to enter the playoff.

Seo was two shots behind the co-leaders at the start of Sunday. After trading two birdies with a bogey on the front nine, Seo charged out in front with a hole-out eagle on the par-4 11th.

She gave a shot back with a bogey on the par-3 12th, but had two more birdies the rest of the way, including one on the 18th, to set up the playoff with Yang.

Seo, the 2011 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year, enjoyed her last LPGA win at the 2010 Kia Classic.

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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