Five shots behind with six holes to play, Danielle Kang won her second straight LPGA Tour event on Sunday in Sylvania, Ohio, when Lydia Ko took double bogey on the final hole in the Marathon Classic.
Kang began her rally with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes at Highland Meadows, and then all she needed were pars the rest of the way for a 3-under 68, all because of Ko's shocking collapse.
Ko was poised to end two years and 44 tournaments without a victory. She made bogey on the 14th hole, and with Kang's birdies, the lead suddenly was down to two. Ko dropped another shot on the 16th, and caught a break when Kang was in position for birdie on the par-5 17th and had to settle for par.
But on the closing par 5, Ko fell apart. She hit her chip through the green. With a slightly uphill lie in patchy rough, Ko muffed the chip and watched it roll into a bunker. She blasted that out to 10 feet and missed the putt that would have forced a playoff. She wound up with a 73.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff, in contention for the second straight week but still without an LPGA victory, played bogey-free after the opening hole for a 67. She wound up in a tie for second with Ko, who reached No. 1 in the world as a teenager and now is outside the top 50.
The LPGA Tour, which resumed after six months because of the pandemic, now heads to Scotland for two weeks for the Ladies Scottish Open and the Women’s British Open.
USGA — California teenager Rose Zhang won the longest U.S. Women’s Amateur title match in 54 years, denying Gabriela Ruffels a repeat victory in Rockville, Md., when the 20-year-old Australian missed a 3-foot par putt on the 38th hole. Neither player led by more than 2 up the entire 36-hole match, and they halved the last five holes with par to force extra holes for the first time since 2001. Zhang, a 17-year-old who has committed to play at Stanford next year, sent it to overtime with a clutch flop-and-run from the rough about 40 yards away on the 18th hole at Woodmont Country Club to tap-in range. On the first extra hole, Zhang missed about a 12-foot putt for the win. On the 38th hole, USC’s Ruffels went just beyond the green from the rough and hit a good pitch to about 3 feet. Zhang missed her birdie putt, and then Ruffels’ par putt to extend the match spun around the cup.
European — An emotional Andy Sullivan ended a near five-year wait for his fourth European Tour title as he recorded a seven-shot victory at the English Championship in Ware. Heading into the final round at Hanbury Manor with a five-shot advantage, Sullivan saw his lead cut to just two by Spain’s Adrian Otaegui (66), but he recorded four birdies on the back nine to shoot a 6-under 65 for a 27-under 257 total. The victory was his first on the European Tour since the 2015 Portugal Masters, and his first since the birth of his son and the deaths of both his brother-in-law as well as a close friend.