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Yang Wins HanaBank Championship
While the 36-hole leaders struggled, Amy Yang took care of business, closing with a 3-under 69 to tie Hee Kyung Seo in regulation and then beating her fellow South Korean with a birdie on the first playoff hole to win the HanaBank Championship. The $1.9 million LPGA Tour event was held on the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea.
The victory, worth $285,000, was the first in Yang's four-year career as a touring pro. The 24-year-old, who now makes her home in Orlando, Fla., finished at 9-under 207, the same score as Seo, who shot a 68.
Yang got into the playoff with a birdie on the 18th hole. Soon after, she birdied the par-5 again for her maiden win.
"I've been waiting for this championship for a long time, and I'm really happy to get it in my home country," said Yang, who's been an LPGA member since 2009. "I still can't believe it."
Sharing third at 208 were South Korea's Sei Young Kim (69), Norway's Suzann Pettersen (70) and American Michelle Wie, who shot Sunday's low round of 6-under 66.
Wie, who had a spotless six-birdie outing, has seen a recent improvement in her golf. "I feel like my game is finally coming together slowly," she said. "I have just been patient with my game and working hard at it. It's just nice to see that it paid off this week, and hopefully I can finish strong next week."
Ha-Neul Kim (71) took sixth at 210, and Brittany Lincicome shot a 69 for solo seventh at 211.
Yang entered the final round trailing Sweden's Anna Nordqvist and Australian Katherine Hull-Kirk by a stroke. Nordqvist, seeking her first title since her two wins in 2009, got off to a poor start with a double-bogey on the par-4 second. After six straight pars, she birdied the ninth to make the turn in 1-over 37. Nordqvist birdied the 13th but doubled the 15th and bogeyed the par-3 17th to fall into a tie for eighth at 4-under 212 with Jane Park (70), Se Ri Pak (71) and Jiyai Shin (72).
Hull-Kirk had a disastrous outing, carding an eight-bogey 80 to fall all the way into a tie for 32nd at 1-over 217.
No. 1-ranked Inbee Park shot her second straight 73 to end up tied for 28th at even-par 216.
The winner last week in Malaysia, teenager Lexi Thompson, closed with a 70 to finish tied for 22nd at 1-under 215.
For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.