Jiyai Shin prevails in LPGA's longest playoff

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Jiyai Shin claimed the Kingsmill Championship on Monday after defeating Paula Creamer in a nine-hole playoff, the longest in LPGA history.  STEVE HELBER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
STEVE HELBER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jiyai Shin claimed the Kingsmill Championship on Monday after defeating Paula Creamer in a nine-hole playoff, the longest in LPGA history.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Jiyai Shin needed only 20 minutes Monday to do what she couldn’t in eight hours a day earlier.

The South Korean made a two-putt par on the ninth playoff hole, beating Paula Creamer to win the Kingsmill Championship and end the longest playoff between two players in LPGA Tour history.

Shin and Creamer played the 18th hole eight times Sunday in an attempt to break the tie before darkness forced a suspension. About 1,000 fans turned out in the next morning to see them go at it again. But after just one more hole, the par-4 6th, the matter
was settled.

“We were so hungry for the win,” said Shin, who, like Creamer, was seeking her first LPGA Tour victory since 2010.

“I can’t believe because I did a hand operation in June and then after that two months I didn’t play,” Shin said. “So I feel like I take a little bit long time for the win, but I’m really happy it’s coming quick.”

TOUGH CHOICE: One day Rory McIlroy was on top of the world, the next day he was caught in an identity crisis between two golfing nations.

“I was hoping that my success on the golf course would be the more popular topic of golfing conversation today,” McIlroy said in a letter he posted Monday on Twitter.

Not long after he held off a strong leaderboard in the BMW Championship, McIlroy found himself in the middle of a debate over which flag he might represent when golf returns to the Olympics in 2016 in Rio.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland, already with two major championships and a No. 1 ranking by a widening margin, grew up “a proud product of Irish golf.” Because his country is part of the United Kingdom, he also is eligible to play for Britain.

Stirring the debate was an interview with The Daily Mail in which McIlroy said he feels a greater connection with the UK than with Ireland.

“What makes it such an awful position to be in is I have grown up my whole life playing for Ireland under the Golfing Union of Ireland umbrella,” he told the British newspaper. “But the fact is, I’ve always felt more British and Irish.”

That led to speculation that McIlroy was laying the groundwork toward playing for Britain, which he denies.

“I wish to clarify that I have absolutely not made a decision regarding my participation in the next Olympics,” McIlroy said. “On a personal level, playing in the Olympics would be a huge honor. However, the games in Rio are still four years away and I certainly won’t be making any decisions with regards to participating any time soon.”


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