SHANGHAI: Angel Yin won on the LPGA Tour for the first time as she held her nerve on the first playoff hole to beat world number one Lilia Vu in Shanghai on Sunday.
On a dramatic final day that saw the lead change hands repeatedly at Qizhong Garden Golf Club, the Americans both finished 14-under after four rounds, a shot ahead of the chasing pack, to ensure they went to a playoff.
In hazy conditions at the $2.1 million event, overnight co-leader Yin birdied the par-four 18th in the sudden-death playoff.
It was Yin’s first victory on the LPGA Tour in her 159th start.
“Feels amazing. I got to say,” said the 25-year-old, who is ranked 35 in the world.
“I was playing today and I was like, wow, winning is tough. It’s not easy.
“So hats off to Lilia for playing so well last day again, and obviously she’s been playing really well.”
Vu had shot a final-round four-under-par 68 and Yin, who shared the overnight lead with Sweden’s Maja Stark, carded a 70 to take them into the playoff.
Vu said she was happy with her performance during the week but felt she was not at her best in the final round.
“I made a lot of mistakes today, to be honest, and I felt like this was definitely not my A-game,” she said.
“Today was just Angel’s day, I’m happy for her,” she added.
South Korea’s Choi Hye-jin, who started the day in 24th position, rocketed up the leaderboard with an eight-under 64 for third place on 13-under for the tournament.
Choi at one point held the clubhouse lead.
In the end, she finished alongside Germany’s Esther Henseleit, Liu Yu of China and the Thai duo of Ariya Jutanugarn and Pavarisa Yoktuan.
Sweden’s Stark had led after three rounds but lost her nerve with a 72 to finish tied eighth.
Danielle Kang of the United States, who won the tournament the last time it was played, in 2019, carded a final-round 71 for a share of 17th.
As part of the LPGA swing through Asia, the tour moves on to South Korea next for the BMW Ladies Championship from October 19 to 22. The LPGA Shanghai was the first international golf event in China since the pandemic.