07/15 19:11 CDT Suwannapura gets first LPGA Tour win at Marathon Classic
Suwannapura gets first LPGA Tour win at Marathon Classic
SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) --- Thidapa Suwannapura's main focus going into the
Marathon Classic was trying to put together four solid rounds that would help
her keep her LPGA Tour card.
She doesn't have to worry about that any longer.
Suwannapura picked up her first win on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 and
birdieing the first playoff hole to defeat Brittany Lincicome at Highland
In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit
her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.
"I never expect it was going to be today at all. I've just been struggling the
whole year," said Suwannapura, whose previous best finish was seventh at the
2014 Kingsmill Championship. "Finally all my work I've been doing has come out
and shown up today. After I knocked that last putt in, it just felt like a
dream come true."
With the win, the 25-year-old Thai player has an exemption through the 2020
season. She is also the sixth first-time winner on tour this year
Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on
the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th to finish at
14-under 270. She then had to wait for the final seven groups to finish.
"I did not think or expect that 14 would be good enough, because I know there
were two par-5s coming in on 17 and 18, and it's a good opportunity for players
to make birdie," Suwannapura said. "I was just chilling in the clubhouse, you
know, being silly and stuff, trying to relax, and see what they're doing. Now,
like, 'Oh, I have to go warm-up and try to win the tournament.'"
Lincicome shot 67. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt
from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and
Despite having eight career victories, including this season's opener in the
Bahamas, the 32-year-old Lincicome said she was extremely nervous standing over
"I was shaking so bad. I had to take so many deep breaths. So it's kind of cool
to have those nerves, but learning how to play through them after 12 years of
being a pro ... 14 years of being a pro, I still haven't figured it out, so
that's a little disappointing," she said. "(The putt) caught a lot of the hole,
so I feel like I hit a pretty good putt for how nervous I was. I really haven't
seen one that aggressive in a long time, so that was just unfortunate, really."
Next up for the big-hitting Lincicome: a start against the men at the PGA
Tour's Barbasol Championship in Kentucky. She will become the first woman since
2004 to play in a PGA Tour event.
Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but
struggled the rest of the way. Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes
dropped her out of the lead. The 20-year-old Canadian finished with a 2-under
69, one shot out of the playoff.
"Sometimes golf is weird. Sometimes it just doesn't go your way, and that was
kind of me the last four holes," said Henderson, who lost for only the second
time in six occasions she has led after 54 holes.
Besides the tour exemption, Suwannapura's win came with another bonus. She was
one of five players to earn a spot in the Women's British Open at Royal Lytham
& St. Annes.
The top five players not already exempt earned spots. The other qualifiers were
Daniela Darquea, Celine Herbin, Mina Harigae and Mel Reid.