American Austin Ernst defeats Kim In-Kyung to win the LPGA Portland Classic
Last Updated: 01/09/14 10:57am
American Austin Ernst sank a short par putt on the 18th hole to defeat Kim In-Kyung in a playoff to capture the LPGA Tour's Portland Classic.
Ernst's victory was her first on the LPGA Tour and she also prevented a podium sweep as three of the top four on the leaderboard were from South Korea.
The 22-year-old closed with a five-under 67. She ended at 14-under-par 274. Kim posted a four-under 68 to join Ernst at 14-under.
Ernst, who is in her second year on the Tour, said with this victory she no longer feels like an outsider.
"Definitely when you get a win you feel like you belong," Ernst said. "With a win you get more confidence. I am looking forward to the rest of the year."
Her previous best finish came at this event last year when Ernst shot a 62 in the third round.
"I just have good memories here," Ernst added.
Kim and Ernst returned to the 18th hole at Columbia Edgewater Country Club for the playoff. Both found the fairway off the tee. Kim's approach stopped in the right fringe before Ernst landed her shot on the green.
Kim played her third shot to about six feet. Ernst saw her birdie try roll past the left edge of the cup.
Ernst easily knocked in her par putt and then waited for Kim. But the three-time LPGA Tour winner missed her par attempt to give Ernst her first title.
South Korean golfers Chella Choi (68) and Ryu So-Yeon (70) shared third place at 12-under.