January 20, 2020 / 3:30 AM / a month ago

Golf: Park eliminated in playoff, falls short of 20th LPGA Tour win

(Reuters) - Park In-bee’s quest for a 20th LPGA Tour victory came up short on Sunday when she was eliminated in a three-way playoff at the Tournament of Champions in Florida.

Park started the final round with a two-shot lead but managed only a pedestrian even-par 71 at the Four Seasons Club in Orlando.

The Olympic champion was seeking to become the second South Korean to post at least 20 victories on the American-based circuit, after Pak Se-ri (25).

But after falling into a playoff with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka (68) and Mexico’s Gaby Lopez (66) at 13-under 271, Park was eliminated after hitting her tee shot into water at the third extra hole, the par-three 18th.

Hataoka and Lopez could not be separated in five extra holes, and will return at 8 a.m. (1300 GMT) on Monday to continue the playoff.

A victory by Hataoka would be her fourth on the LPGA Tour, which would tie Hiromi Kobayashi for the third-most by a Japanese player, behind Ayako Okamoto (17) and Ai Miyazato (nine).

Lopez has one career win.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Stephen Coates

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