SHANGHAI — American Solheim Cup player Angel Yin beat top-ranked Lilia Vu on the first playoff hole to win the LPGA Shanghai tournament for her first tour win.
Both Yin and Vu finished at 14-under 274 on the Qizhong Garden Golf Club course forcing a playoff, where Yin made a birdie at the par-4 18th after Vu had narrowly missed her 20-foot birdie putt.
Yin continued: “Honestly, just, I lost already, so this one either I win or lose and I’ve played well this week, so I think it was just much more calm. I was calm before, but I really wanted to win.
“I haven’t played well all year, and then like years before, too, and so I think I wanted that a lot more. This one I wanted too, but my mentality and emotions were much calmer I think.”
It was 25-year-old Yin’s first victory in her 159th start and she shared a warm embrace with compatriot Vu on her breakthrough win.
Yin was tied with Maja Stark for the lead at 12 under and shot a 70, with three birdies and a lone bogey on the 6th.
Vu shot a 4-under 68, with six birdies and two bogeys, and was the clubhouse leader at 14-under, until Yin birdied the par-5 17th and then made par on the final hole to force a playoff.
Five players finished in a tie for third at 13 under: South Korea’s Choi Hye-jin who shot a 64, Thai pair Pavarisa Yoktuan (70) and Ariya Jutanugarn (69), Yu Liu (68) and Esther Henseleit (68).
Yin had trouble finding the words to express her emotions after finally breaking through with her first win.
“I’m still living in the moment so much that I haven’t been able to draw on the past to think about the journey and where I am right now,” said the 25-year-old Californian, who earned $315,000 with the win.
“Throughout the round I was thinking to myself, it’s not easy to win. It’s not easy to win. Just very grateful,” she continued.
Defending champion Danielle Kang (71) finished in a tie for 17th at 9-under.
Maja Stark, who was joint leader with Yin, had a frustrating day as she made an even par round to finish in a tie for 8th with a 12-under 276.
Two-time defending champion Danielle Kang of the United States shot 71 to finish five strokes back in a tie for 17th at 9 under.
The event, the LPGA´s first return to China since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the start of a four-tournament Asia swing, with later stops in South Korea, Malaysia and Japan.
The self-talk paid off as an engaged Yin took down World No. 1 Lilia Vu in a playoff for her first LPGA victory in 159 career starts at the Buick LPGA Shanghai.
The two Solheim Cup teammates squared off earlier this season in a playoff at the Chevron Championship, where Vu came out on top.
It’s Yin’s first professional victory since the 2017 Omega Dubai Ladies Classic on the Ladies European Tour.
She went 2-1-0 in her third appearance for the US Solheim Cup Team this past September.