Grace Kim of Australia birdied the first playoff hole on Saturday to win the Lotte Championship in a three-way sudden death in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.
Kim outlasted Yu Liu (par) and third-round leader Yu Jin Sung (bogey) on the par-5 18th hole, the first playoff hole, to claim her first victory on the LPGA Tour. She earned $300,000 with the win.
Liu of China shot a blistering 8-under-par 64 in the fourth and final round to barge into the playoff. Kim fired a final-round 4-under 68 and Sung of South Korea shot 69. The trio finished at 12-under 276 after 72 holes.
Peiyun Chien (final-round 67) and Linnea Strom (69) finished tied for fourth at 11 under. Lauren Hartlage (70), Natthakritta Vongtaveelap (70) and Georgia Hall (71) finished tied for sixth at 9 under.
Kim finished her fourth round with six birdies -- including 17 and 18 -- against two bogeys to secure her spot in the playoff.
But it was Liu who posted the day’s monster round, carding eight birdies -- four on either nine -- without a bogey to vault to the top of the leaderboard. She shot 72-71 in her previous two rounds.
“Honestly I knew I was five shots back,” Liu said. “I knew if I put in a really good round I may have a chance, so that was just my mentality. Honestly out there on the course I wasn’t really thinking any score-wise. Just focus on one shot at a time. Definitely paid off.”
Sung posted four birdies against one bogey for her final-round 69.
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