(2nd LD) Ko Jin-young loses in playoff at LPGA stop in Canada

South Korean star Ko Jin-young has suffered the first playoff loss of her LPGA career, coming up short in a bid for her 16th career title.

Ko lost to Megan Khang of the United States on the first playoff hole at the CPKC Women's Open at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver on Sunday (local time).

Both players ended 72 holes at nine-under 279, though they took different routes to get there. Ko began the day trailing Khang by five at six-under, and carded a three-under 69 in the final round. Khang stumbled to a 74, and had to make a birdie on the 72nd hole to force the playoff.

The two players went back to the 18th tee to begin the playoff, and it was essentially over after their respective tee shots.

Ko pulled hers left of the cart path and into some deep stuff, while Khang was safely in the fairway.

After taking a penalty, Ko sent her third shot into a greenside bunker and went on to make a double bogey.

Khang's second shot found the fringe to the left of the cup, and she two-putted from there for her maiden LPGA title.

Ko, who is now 2-1 in LPGA playoffs, has two wins this year. She remains the only South Korean with an LPGA victory in 2023.

This was Ko's first top-10 finish in seven tournaments since winning the Cognizant Founders Cup in May. She has fallen from No. 1 to No. 4 in the world rankings during this span. The 28-year-old said after the playoff loss that she was still happy to finish in second place, given her recent struggles.

"I didn't expect I would play in the playoff, because I was five shots behind Megan," Ko said. "It was close, but I played really well today. The last four days were awesome, so I'm really happy to be back playing well."

Ko played the final round in the second-to-last pairing, just ahead of Khang and fellow South Korean Kim Sei-young, who sat three shots behind Khang entering the final round at eight-under.

Kim bogeyed the first hole and Khang bogeyed the third hole, giving Ko, who started her final round with a birdie to reach seven-under, some opening.

Khang made another bogey on the sixth, and Ko moved within one of Khang by making birdie on the ninth hole to reach eight-under

Khang dropped into a tie for first with Ko after a three-putt bogey on the 10th hole. And Kim now sat one stroke behind the co-leaders.

Ko hit a speed bump on the par-5 11th, where she took a penalty stroke following a poor second shot en route to a bogey, which dropped her to seven-under.

Khang momentarily regained her two-stroke advantage with her first birdie of the day on the 11th. Kim matched that birdie on the same hole to move to eight-under, one back of Khang.

Khang made another birdie on the par-3 12th. Kim had to make a nervy par putt to stay within two of the leader.

But then both Khang and Kim bogeyed the 13th after errant tee shots, Ko took advantage by making a birdie on the 14th green that pushed her to eight-under, one behind Khang.

Kim pulled into a tie with Ko at eight-under thanks to a birdie on the par-5 15th, where Khang only managed par. But that turned out to be Kim's last birdie of the final round.

Moments later, Ko drained a birdie putt on the 16th green to join Khang at the top of the leaderboard at nine-under, while Kim played her way out of contention with a bogey at the 16th.

Ko stood over a lengthy par putt on the 18th green nursing a one-stroke lead, after Khang had bogeyed the 17th in the final group. Ko drained the knee knocker to grab the clubhouse lead at nine-under.

Khang watched it all unfold from the 18th fairway, and then stiffed her second shot to set up a birdie putt that she made to send the tournament to the playoff.

Two other South Korean players finished in the top 10. Kim Sei-young finished tied for fourth at six-under. She bogeyed two of the final three holes for a 74 after staying in contention for most of the final round.

Chun In-gee shot her second straight round of 69 to finish at four-under, good for a three-way tie for eighth.

Source: Yonhap News Agency