Jang Ha-na of South Korea clinched the inaugural BMW Ladies Championship in a nailbiting finale showdown with Danielle Kang on Sunday, edging the American on home turf in a three-hole playoff. The former world number 10 was one off the pace overnight and slipped to four behind before an eagle on the par-five 11th hole drew her back into contention at the 2 million competition in Busan.

It was a cruel defeat for Kang — riding high after a win in Shanghai on her 27th birthday last weekend — who finished regular play with a tournament record eight under 64 including a four-birdie run from the eighth hole. Kang’s short game has been in searing form but failed her in the second play-off hole on the 412-yard 18th when a putt from 10 feet skirted around the hole, prompting the American to throw her arms up in frustration. Jang claimed the title on the next hole with a birdie after Kang’s third stroke left her too far to keep level.

It was Jang’s first victory in a US LPGA tournament since February 2017 in Australia, shortly before she abruptly left the tour and returned to domestic competition to spend more time with her family. Local contenders dominated the top of the leaderboard, with 10 South Koreans placing in the top 12 finishers. Amy Yang finished third with 16-under for the tournament, four clear of Chun In-gee and Somi Lee. World number one Ko Jin-young struggled after leading with Kang on the first day, rounding out the weekend with two 71 finishes to tie for ninth.

Jayita Sardar
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Aspiring journalist working for sportzbusiness.com and exploring the juncture of sports, business and technology. Interested in sports economy and logistics of sports policy-making.

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