Taiwan’s Yani Tseng finished tied for 19th at the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill outside Rochester, New York, with a two-over 290 after a roller-coaster ride over the final 36 holes on Sunday.
Starting the day in 31st at two-over for the tournament, Tseng was never able to muster a run to get herself under par and move into contention, often answering birdies with bogeys.
The current undisputed women’s No. 1 Inbee Park of South Korea won the US$2.25 million tournament in a playoff against Catriona Matthew of Scotland after the two both finished on five-under 283.
Park has now won four LPGA events this year, including the year’s first two majors.
“It was one of the toughest days out there,” Park said after sinking an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-four 18th to defeat Matthew after they both parred the first two holes of sudden death. “I’m so tired.”
Matthew made up seven shots on Park in the final round, posting a bogey-free, four-under 68 to take a five-under total into the clubhouse and force a playoff after the South Korean made three bogeys over the final five holes to tie her on 283.
“I didn’t hit many fairways out there and I was scrambling really well out there,” Park said. “I think I was actually really lucky to get in the playoff. The amount of fairways I was missing it’s almost a miracle that I won today.”
Tseng has fallen to fifth in the world rankings after starting the year at No. 1 and has yet to find the consistency that made her the dominant player in women’s golf in 2011.
Still battling sore teeth and gums, and a cold, she shot a one-under 71 in Sunday’s third round, but it could have been better.
Birdies at the par-four 10th and 12th and the par-five 17th were answered immediately with bogeys on the following holes, making it impossible for the Taiwanese to build any momentum.
Tseng’s hopes of a final-round rally were smashed in the first six holes, when two birdies were more than offset by two double-bogeys.
The only other Taiwanese to make the cut, Candie Kung, finished tied for 44th at seven-over.