Sunday, November 08, 2015

Ahn Sun-ju wins LPGA Toto Classic in Japan after three-way play-off

Sun-Ju Ahn poses with the trophy after her play-off win
Sun-Ju Ahn poses with the trophy after her play-off win
Ahn Sun-ju claimed her maiden LPGA Tour title after edging out Lee Ji-hee and Angela Stanford in a play-off at the Toto Japan Classic.
Ahn birdied the first extra hole after the trio had finished tied on 16 under par, and although the win was her first on the LPGA Tour, it was her 20th victory on the LPGA of Japan Tour and her 27th win worldwide.
The 28-year-old closed with a faultless five-birdie 67, while Lee (66) and Stanford (67) also kept bogeys off their cards as all three finished a shot ahead of overnight leader Jenny Shin at the Kintestsu Kashikojima Country Club.

Ahn then hit a superb six-iron to five feet on the opening play-off hole, and she held her nerve to roll in the putt after both her opponents had failed to better par.
"I'm very happy. I didn't think that I'd be able to win the tournament but it's a nice surprise and I'm very happy," said Ahn, who will now have the option of joining the LPGA Tour for 2016 and is also eligible to play in the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
"I haven't thought much about that yet," Ahn added. "I'm just going to enjoy this win and this moment."
Stanford's 30-foot putt on the extra hole was close to dropping, but the veteran American was gracious in defeat.
"About halfway I thought it might have a chance but it broke more than I thought it would," Stanford said. "Sun-Ju hit a really good shot in there. If you stick it on 18, with this hole, you deserve birdie and you deserve to win."
Ahn, who turned professional in 2010, became the third non-member of the tour to win an LPGA event this season, following victories by compatriot Chun In-gee and Canada's Brooke Henderson.
The Canadian was granted full membership immediately after her August triumph in Portland while US Open winner Chun plies her trade on the LPGA of Korea Tour.