Brittany Lincicome was one hole away from winning the 2014 LPGA Championship. Alas, she snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, losing a playoff to Inbee Park, who picked up her second title in as many years.
Golf Central shared the results:
Park made a late push to try to wrest the LPGA Championship away from Lincicome. She was consistent throughout the round, sitting at either even par or one under for the majority of the final day.
A birdie on No. 17 got her to within a stroke of Lincicome, but after a par on 18, Park's fate was left out of her hands. She needed Lincicome to falter on 18.
And that's exactly what the 28-year-old American did. With a three-putt on the final hole of the tournament, Lincicome ended the final round with an 11-under for the tournament, sending her and Park to a playoff:
As GolfChannel.com's Randall Mell pointed out, the momentum was firmly on Park's side heading into the sudden-death round. Recovering so quickly from such bitter disappointment would be difficult for any athlete:
Lincicome had picked up pars on 18 through the first three rounds, but Sunday wasn't her day. Back-to-back bogeys in the final round and playoff ended up costing her the title. She picked the worst time to have issues on that hole.
As Golf Digest's Stina Sternberg pointed out, the final frame and playoff played out almost exactly the same for Lincicome:
It was a tough pill to swallow considering how she'd been leading all day and had one hand on the title.
You can see the top 10 of the leaderboard below, courtesy of LPGAScoring.com.
|2014 LPGA Championship Leaderboard|
Lydia Ko had her best round of the tournament, which allowed her to pose a threat to Lincicome and Park late in the round. Coming into Sunday, she was one of many golfers further down the leaderboard who needed a crazy final day to have any chance of winning.
"It’s going to definitely take a low one," said Ko regarding the kind of score it would take to challenge Lincicome, per Mell.
The 17-year-old was looking to become the youngest major winner since Young Tom Morris, per Mell. He's not to be confused with his father, Old Tom Morris, who was slightly older when he won his first major:
Ko started off well with a two-under 34 on the front nine. After a shaky start to the back nine, she reeled off three birdies in a four-hole stretch to move to four under for the round and 10 under for the tournament.
Ko got to within a stroke before the champion birdied No. 14 to gain a two-stroke lead, which was all she needed to cruise to victory. A bogey on No. 17 all but eliminated Ko from title contention. A bogey on the 18th was the final nail in the coffin.
Suzann Pettersen was one of two golfers entering the final day one stroke back of Lincicome. She was tied with Inbee Park at nine under through three rounds. It looked like the 33-year-old Norwegian would have a say in the final outcome.
Instead, Pettersen struggled mightily throughout the day. After nine holes, her chance of winning was out the window. After a double bogey on No. 1 and bogeys on Nos. 4, 6 and 8, she wrapped up the front nine with a five-over 41:
Golf World's Ron Sirak thought that Pettersen just didn't have it in her to recover following an awful start:
The 2007 winner finished at four over for the day in a tie for sixth. She'll have to wait for her third major.
The LPGA major season wraps up in a couple of weeks at the Evian Championship in France. Although the tournament doesn't have the illustrious history of the four other majors, a $3.25 million purse makes it one of the biggest events of the year.
Pettersen enters as the defending champion. It will be a great opportunity for her to put her Day 4 struggles out of her mind.