Longest LPGA playoff ends with Shin win

Jiyai Shin puts two-year dry spell behind her to win mammoth nine hole playoff at the Kingsmill Championship.

    Longest LPGA playoff ends with Shin win
    South Korean Jiyai Shin kisses trophy after slim victory over American Paula Creamer [AP]

    Jiyai Shin ended the longest playoff between two players in LPGA Tour history, making a two-putt par on the ninth hole of a playoff on Monday to beat Paula Creamer and win the Kingsmill Championship.

    Shin and Creamer played the 18th hole eight times Sunday in an attempt to break the tie before darkness forced a suspension of play. The next morning, they drew about 1,000 fans and needed just one more hole, the par-4 6th, and 20 minutes to settle it.

    Creamer hit her 30-foot, double-break, downhill first putt about 5 feet past the hole. She then missed the left-to-right bending comebacker, the ball hitting the right edge and spinning out. Shin's first putt, also breaking left to right, stopped 3 feet from the cup.

    "We were so hungry for the win,'' Shin said.

    "I can't believe because I did a hand operation in June and then after that two months I didn't play. So I feel like I take a little bit long time for the win, but I'm really happy it's coming quick.''

    Shin, a 24-year-old South Korean who was ranked No.1 for 16 weeks in 2010, had not won in two years. She earned $195,000 for the victory.

    Up next: British Open

    Creamer, who hasn't won since the 2010 U.S. Women's Open, suspected a second hole was going to be necessary.

    "I thought I hit a great putt, the first one,'' she said.

    "It's so much faster than the putting green... I felt good over the next one. It was tough because it was one of those dying ones.''

    "I can't believe because I did a hand operation in June and then after that two months I didn't play. So I feel like I take a little bit long time for the win, but I'm really happy it's coming quick"

    Jiyai Shin

    Afterward, both caught flights to England for the British Women's Open. The final hole marked a dramatic conclusion to the tour's return to Kingsmill after a two-year absence, and was not unlike the final hole of regulation, when Creamer missed a 5-foot putt for par that would have won the tournament, leaving them tied at 16 under.

    Creamer finished with a par 71 Sunday and Shin shot a 69. 

    Both then parred the par-4 18th hole eight times, breaking the mark of seven set in Cristie Kerr's victory over Seol-An Jeon in the 2004 LPGA Takefuji Classic. Jo Ann Prentice won the longest playoff overall, taking the 1972 Corpus Christi Civitan Open on the 10th hole.

    Shin had a good chance to win on the first extra hole on Sunday, but left a 6-foot birdie putt short. Both players came close to winning on the second playoff hole, got up and down for pars from bunkers on the third and two-putted for par on the fourth, fifth and sixth.

    Creamer sank a 5-foot putt to save par and extend the playoff on the seventh, and both two-putted on the eighth.

    SOURCE: AP


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