Lindsey Wright of Johnson City, Tenn., closed with a two-under-par 70 to finish one stroke behind Nelly Korda of Sarasota, Fla., to force a four-way playoff that ended up being the deciding hole at The Sony Open in Hawaii.
Greta Van Fleet, a 17-year-old from Muskegon, Mich., became the youngest player ever to make the cut and gave her a shot to win the tournament until she hit a drive into the water on the 18th hole and finished three strokes back.
Korda, the younger sister of former Open winner Cristie Kerr, closed with a 67, while Jennifer Song of Los Angeles (68) and Thorny Leung of Singapore (69) tied for third at 10 under.
Korda continued to dominate, as her 10th LPGA victory assured her of the No. 1 spot in the world rankings for the first time after a season in which she has won three times. Only Annika Sorenstam has won more LPGA events, most recently in 2010, when she also had 10.
Korda and Song were three strokes clear after the first round, and while Korda scored 12 birdies and two bogeys, Song didn’t see much daylight as she made nine birdies and four bogeys.
Ko looked like she was en route to her 10th victory this season as she holed out a bunker shot on the par-5 15th for eagle and added another on the par-5 16th for birdie.
But a tee shot into the water on the par-3 17th and a double bogey on the 18th tied her for the lead with Song and Song sank a long birdie putt on the 18th to force the playoff.
While Ko was in the playoff, the top 10 players at the end of the first round in the top 50 in the world rankings automatically qualified for the 54-hole cut.
In other tournaments this week:
•Daniela Garcia, 16, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Mississippi, which went to a five-player playoff, making par on the 72nd hole to defeat Annie Park of Providence, R.I., Grace Sung of South Korea, Amanda Blumenherst of Carmel, Ind., and Christel Boeljon of Wichita, Kan.
•Amateur players, being put in the winner’s circle for the first time on the LPGA Tour, fared well at the Volunteers of America Classic. Mina Harigae of Hawaii won the HSBC Women’s Champions tournament in Singapore, while Karestan Saksena of Thailand took the Pacific Links Coronado.
Sports on 05/15/2018