By Doug Gorman
Talk about your Sunday afternoon drama on the links.
Korean-born golfer Se Ri Pak and Australian Shani Waugh gave fans at the Eagle's Landing Country Club their money's worth and then some, battling it out in four extra holes at the LPGA Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.
Finally, Pak's par on hole No. 10 sealed the victory in the longest sudden-death playoff in the tournament's history.
"I really like the challenge," Pak said. "A lot of pressure makes me play much better. I don't know the reason, but I enjoy it."
Pak became the first two-time winner this season when she sank a 18-foot putt to close out the tournament. Earlier this year, Pak won in Phoenix.
"Putting saved my day," Pak said.
Waugh took herself out of contention on her tee shot to start the fourth extra hole after it splashed down into the water.
On the same sudden-death hole, Pak's approach shot to the green missed its target, giving Waugh a little more life.
"For a split second, I said, ?Here's my chance," Waugh said. "But she putted incredible. I was not surprised at all when she made that putt."
The four-hole playoff was the tour's longest since 1999, and the longest ever at the Eagle's Landing event.
Waugh was looking for her first win LPGA victory.
Her best finish on the tour came last year in the United States Open when she finished third.
"I'm disappointed that I didn't win, but I am happy with the way I played," she said.
Pak's victory means there has been a different winner at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship every year since the event began in 1992.
Paired together in the final grouping, Pak and Waugh each birdied hole No. 18 to send the tournament to the sudden-death playoff. Both players finished regulation play at 16-under par.
Pak had to really dig down deep just to send the tournament to sudden death, and she answered with a 10-foot putt.
On the first three holes of sudden death, the two golfers matched each other shot for shot.
Waugh hit her tee shot on hole No. 10 into the water to start the fourth extra hole, setting the stage for Pak to win the tournament.
Pak, however, missed the green and needed some drama of her own just to come up with the par putt to win the tournament.
Waugh had a chance to win on the third extra-playoff hole, again on No. 18. Pak missed her approach shot to the green and it landed near the scoring tent.
Pak chipped to within 10 feet of the hole, and then sank the birdie to kept the tournament going.
Both golfers pulled away from the rest of the field during the back nine.
Pak strung together a collection of five straight birdies. Waugh birdied the final three holes to force the playoff.
For a time, Suzann Pettersen was the talk of the tournament. Pettersen returned to the Eagle's Landing Country Club early Sunday to complete her second round. She then faced 18 more holes before calling it a day.
Pettersen started the third round with an unbelievable score of 28 before falling back on the final nine holes to finish the day at 67. Pettersen was 12-under par four shots behind the leaders.
"It didn't look like anybody was going to stop her," said Waugh. "She just kept making birdies on front nine."
Karrie Webb, who was also in the final group after shooting 67 and 66 during the first two rounds, fell out of contention on Sunday with a 74.
Webb, who like Waugh is also from Australia, was seven shots behind the leaders.
Juli Inkster, who won last year's Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, didn't play the final round on Sunday after failing to make the cut.
Amateur sensation Michelle Wie, was the first amateur to ever make the cut, and didn't disappoint her large following of fans. She finished the day 3-under par.