Koreans' charge falls short at LPGA season's final major

Sung Hyun Park

Lydia Ko, the 2015 Evian Champion, produced a charge that nearly matched that of the victor having begun the day three strokes off the lead.

Both players shot 66 to tie on nine under par, and a bogey five at the first play-off hole - the 18th - was good enough for the 30-year-old to add another major to the 2009 LPGA Championship.

At that point, if you'd told Kirk she'd birdie the last, she'd have been mentally practising her victory speech.

Today, she will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of her younger sister, Ariya, who became the first Thai golfer to win one of golf's majors at last year's Ricoh Women's British Open.

Moriya was the 2013 Rookie of the Year, but has never won on the LPGA Tour. Two holes later, play was stopped.

Starting with a one-shot lead, Jutanugarn reached the turn two ahead at 10 under but lost her lead when Nordqvist surged.

"These last couple weeks, it's been hard; it's been frustrating; it's been disappointing", said Nordqvist after her victory.

Defying driving rain and hail in a playoff, Anna Nordqvist beat unheralded American Brittany Altomare at the first extra hole to win the Evian Championship on Sunday.

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The Swede saved eight shots in total on Sunday-two eagles and four birdies-and was the most impressive in terms of chasing the lead, particularly given the conditions didn't always allow for risky manoeuvres.

Playing in her final tournament before retirement, Japan's Ai Miyazato made a great start with a 68.

"When I see all my friends behind the 18th green it nearly makes me cry, so I tried not to watch them", said the 32-year-old Miyazato.

Moriya, the older sister of fellow LPGA competitor Ariya Jutanugarn, failed to record a birdie over her back nine and was let down by two bogeys over that stretch, the only top-nine finisher to post a positive Day 3 score.

On the 18th green, Miyazato holed a short par putt then was greeted greenside by Gary Player who presented a bouquet of pink roses.

"I played my heart out and I tried my best and that's all I can do", Ko said. A recent 3rd place finish at the event in Portland suggested her game was improving but if she had gone on to win it would have been one of the biggest upsets for some time on the LPGA Tour.

"When Ariya won the British Open at Woburn a year ago, I finished not long before her and dashed out to watch her play the last few holes", she recalled. The 23-year-old climbed to 10 under before hitting her tee shot out of bounds on the 13th hole and making bogey, then suffering a lip-out birdie putt on 15.

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