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Birdiefest Goes To Hee Young Park

WATERLOO, ONTARIO | Hee Young Park made 26 birdies and an eagle in regulation at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, but that wasn’t enough to win. The 26-year-old South Korean needed three more birdies in a playoff against American Angela Stanford to secure the title, the second of her career on the LPGA Tour. Park had a tap-in birdie on the third extra hole, a fitting conclusion to the second-year tournament that featured the lowest scoring of the year on Tour. Heading into the final round with a one-shot lead, Park shot 6-underpar 66 Sunday at Grey Silo Golf Club to take her four-round total to 26-under 258. That tied a tour record for lowest gross score, set in 2004 by Karen Stupples at the Welch’s/Fry’s Championship. Park said setting records and winning weren’t on her mind as she played the Manulife Classic. Her simple game plan: “I just thought about making birdies.” That she did, closing with five on the back nine, then the three in overtime. Stanford, looking for her sixth career LPGA win, carded 64 to finish even with Park in regulation, then matched her birdie for birdie on the first two playoff holes. But her drive on the third extra hole – the par-5 18th – found a hole in the right rough. Stanford then topped her second shot into a bunker, short of the green, and played her third to the back fringe. That opened the door for Park, who reached the 471-yard par-5 in two. “I had the worst lie of the week over there,” Stanford muttered to her caddie as Park celebrated with her cousin and uncle, who rushed the green. It was the second year in a row that the event went to a playoff, and then three extra holes.


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