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Park edges Yokomine to claim 1st LPGA Tour title

The Associated Press

Annie Park poses with the trophy

The Associated Press GALLOWAY, N.J. (AP) — Annie Park won the ShopRite LPGA Classic for her first LPGA Tour victory, closing with an 8-under 63 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Sakura Yokomine.

The 23-year-old Park, from Levittown, N.Y., had an eagle and six birdies on a cloudy day over the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview to complete 54 holes at 16-under 197, a stroke off the tournament record.

“I can’t describe in words how I feel,” Park said. “It’s my first win out on tour. I mean, every win is very special, but just having my family out here, my friends supporting me, it’s just — all the fans, my friends back home, I would like to thank all of them. Without them and having that support, I probably wouldn’t have been here today.”

Park began the year with conditional status on the LPGA Tour, but her season came around in April at the LPGA Mediheal Championship in San Francisco. She qualified on Monday, tied for 18th and won more than $17,000 to improve her status on the priority list.

“It’s been a crazy first half of the year,” she said.

Yokomine, the winner of 23 events on the Japan LPGA Tour, flirted with a 59 but parred the par-5 18th for a 61 to tie the course record.

New Jersey native Marina Alex was third at 14 under after a 64. She made a hole-in-one at the par-3 17th.

“It was just kind of surreal,” Alex said. “I finally hit a nice wedge. I hit some wedges earlier in the day and I didn’t feel like they were super solid. That one was pure.”

Kim Sei Young, who broke the course record Sunday morning when she finished her second round with back-to-back birdies for a 61, had a 70 to finish fourth at 13 under.

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