Angel Yin wins LPGA Shanghai tournament for maiden tour title

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Bernat Armangue

United States' Angel Yin plays her tee shot on the 4th hole during her single match at the Solheim Cup golf tournament in Finca Cortesin, near Casares, southern Spain, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. Europe play the United States in this biannual women's golf tournament, which played alternately in Europe and the United States. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

SHANGHAI – American Solheim Cup player Angel Yin defeated top-ranked Lilia Vu on the first playoff hole to win the LPGA Shanghai tournament on Sunday for her first tour win.

Both Yin and Vu finished at 14-under 274 on the Qizhong Garden Golf Club course forcing a playoff, where Yin made a birdie at the par-4 18th after Vu had narrowly missed her 20-foot birdie putt.

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It was 25-year-old Yin's first victory in her 159th start and she shared a warm embrace with compatriot Vu on her breakthrough win.

“It’s not easy to win. (I'm) just very grateful,” Yin said. "Honestly, 18 that bunker where I was in, anything could have happened, but I was very fortunate to have a very good lie and was able to hit a good shot and everything played out the way it played out.

"It’s been a special week.”

Yin was tied with Maja Stark for the overnight lead at 12 under and on Sunday shot a 70, with three birdies and a lone bogey on the 6th.

Vu shot a 4-under 68, with six birdies and two bogeys, and was the clubhouse leader at 14-under, until Yin birdied the par-5 17th and then made par on the final hole to force a playoff.

“I made a lot of mistakes today, to be honest, and I felt like this was definitely not my A-game, but I knew that the more I play the golf course the better I get at it, and I knew I had a good chance today,” Vu said. “Today was just Angel’s day. I’m happy for her.”

Five players finished in a tie for third at 13 under: South Korea's Choi Hye-jin who shot a 64, Thai pair Pavarisa Yoktuan (70) and Ariya Jutanugarn (69), Yu Liu (68) and Esther Henseleit (68).

Maja Stark, who was joint overnight leader with Yin, had a frustrating day as she made an even par round to finish in a tie for 8th with a 12-under 276.

Two-time defending champion Danielle Kang of the United States shot 71 to finish five strokes back in a tie for 17th at 9 under.

The event, the LPGA’s first return to China since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the start of a four-tournament Asia swing, with later stops in South Korea, Malaysia and Japan.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf