Madsen triumphs in playoffs for first win on LPGA Tour

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Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Denmark kisses the trophy for photos during the awards ceremony after winning the LPGA Honda Thailand golf tournament in Pattaya, southern Thailand, Sunday March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Kittinun Rodsupan)

AP

Nanna Koerstz Madsen became the first Danish player to win an LPGA Tour title after a dramatic second-hole playoff win over Lin Xiyu of China at Sunday’s Honda LPGA Thailand.

Both players set a new tournament record of 26-under-par 262 on the rule and then screwed the par-5 18th on the first extra hole before the Dane sealed victory with a 7-foot eagle putt on the next hole, to secure her biggest career win.

“It’s wonderful. I don’t know how to put it into words,” said Madsen. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of for a very long time.”

Madsen, 27, who shot in the final 5 under 67, was also the third European to win the event, after Suzann Pettersen of Norway in 2007 and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden in 2014.

Madsen had started her final round at Pattaya’s Siam Country Club Old Course the way she had finished her third. Even better on the way to her first LPGA Tour win.

And she needed each of those early breaks to put herself in position to secure the win.

After birdieing her last two holes in the third round to take a one-shot lead, the two-time Olympian from Denmark was able to hit her first hole and screw the second to extend her lead. After a bogey on the seventh, she came back with birdies on the eighth and ninth to take a three-shot lead at the turn.

Then, after the rain interrupted play for two and a half hours, the Dane squandered a four-stroke lead with three holes to go.

Madsen still had a two-stroke lead to the final hole, but she hit her second shot into the marquee area before missing a championship putt from six feet. She finished with a bogey while Lin missed an eagle chip by less than an inch that would have earned her the trophy. She tapped a birdie to force a playoff.

“I just can’t believe the chip didn’t get in. But I mean I’m pretty proud of myself. I haven’t been in many playoffs. I’m kinda reassured right now, but of course I’m a little bit sad when I just lost the playoffs,” said Lin, who is yet to win at the LPGA.

Madsen had two top five major finishes in 2021 – she placed third at the ANA Inspiration and had a share of fifth at the Women’s British Open. Her best result at the LPGA was second place at the 2019 Indy Women in Tech Championship.

Last week she tied for 17th place at the LPGA event in Singapore.

France’s Celine Boutier finished a shot behind the leaders in third place after a 67 on the final loop. Three-time champion Amy Yang (64) of South Korea and Canada’s Brooke Henderson (67) finished another two shots back

American Danielle Kang hit a hole-in-one on the eighth par-3 before finishing in eighth after a 6-under 66 shot.

Yuka Saso of Japan had the round of the day, shooting a 10-under 62 to take 12th place with a 19-under 269.

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