WATERLOO, ONTARIO | For a while it appeared
like a playoff with no ending. With storm clouds
looming, four golfers started a playoff at the
Manulife Financial Classic. It would take three
attempts at the 18th for the tournament to
come to a conclusion, with American Brittany
Lang outlasting Hee Kyung Seo.
“I can’t believe it took seven years to win a
tournament,” said Lang, who had her brother
Luke as her caddie for the week. “I’ll only get
stronger from here.”
It was the first win for Lang, who was hotly
tipped after finishing second in the 2005 U.S.
Women’s Open as an amateur. Playing in the
final group at Grey Silo Golf Club, a municipal
facility about 90 minutes west of Toronto, Lang
only missed two greens in regulation and three
fairways. But as was the case with her playing
partners – Seo and Inbee Park – few putts fell.
The sun finally showed up on the par- 5 18th
with Park, Seo and Lang all tied at 16 under.
By that point Chella Choi, who started the day
in ninth-place, had finished her round, carding
an 8-under 63 to post a 16-under final score.
It looked like that wouldn’t be enough to win,
but all three golfers in the final group missed
the green, though Lang had a short birdie putt
to win the tournament. Lang made a weak putt
that slid by, forcing the playoff. Lang said she
struggled to overcome her nervousness.
“(Seo and Park) made a few mistakes coming in so I finally got pretty close to them,” Lang
Stacy Lewis Can Yani Tseng 3-Peat or will Arkansas Alum Stacy Lewis continue her hot streak in Razorback country? -peat? 123Connect on: lpga.com, Facebook, and Twitter. Robert Thompson Brittany Lang
said. “I was extremely nervous to make that
putt on the final hole. My hands were shaking.
It wasn’t a good putt.”
With par the best any of the three could do,
the group, now with Choi, started a Groundhog
Day finish that saw the four golfers repeat the
course’s par- 5 final hole three times in the
playoff. Choi, who made eight birdies during her
final round, couldn’t make birdie on the first
playoff hole and settled for a tie for second, and
Park, who started the day atop the leaderboard,
bowed out after coming up a shot short on the
second playoff hole.
With Seo and Lang hitting strong drives on
the third playoff hole, both golfers found the
greenside bunker. Lang, who labored over her
putting all day, put her bunker shot just above
the hole. After Seo’s birdie was short, Lang
deftly slid a downhill birdie in to win the inaugural Manulife event.
“The last putt to win I felt a heck of a lot better than I did in regulation,” Lang explained. “I
got better with each putt. I was so nervous on
that first putt in regulation that I couldn’t see
what I wanted.”
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