Nasa Hataoka, of Japan, reacts to her tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, Ill., on July 1, 2018.
Fifth-ranked Ryu and sixth-ranked Park each birdied the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, while Nataoka was eliminated with a par. Against a playoff and with a memorable shot beside a pond that was reminiscent of fellow South Korean Se Ri Pak's storied shot from the water to force a playoff in 1998 to win the U.S. Women's Open.
Park, who shot a bogey-free 69 in the final round to force the playoff, said her dramatic day felt "like a dream". Last year, she missed the cut in her debut Women's PGA Championship, one of five women's majors. Ryu, who won the ANA Inspiration a year ago and the U.S. Women's Open in 2011, has had top three results at all five women's majors.
An impressive back nine featuring four birdies helped Ryu move from two shots behind Henderson to two shots ahead in the space of three holes. She won the NW Arkansas Championship last week for her first tour title.
After a misguided approach shot came up short, Park found herself in real trouble with her ball obscured by high grass just inches from the water.
"After the front nine I couldn't actually expect to be leading after the round", Ryu said after making four back-nine birdies to surge pass a spluttering Henderson. I feel like all the work I've put in has paid off today, and that's really what made me cry. Last to putt, Park drained an 8-foot downhill putt to stay in the playoff.
Park just missed a birdie on that hole when her 20-footer hit the edge of the cup.
The young Japanese rocketed from 26th place into a three-way tie for the lead at 10-under 278 with Park and her compatriot Ryu So Yeon, who led going into the final round at Kemper Lakes Golf Club. Her round included eight birdies and two bogeys as she vaulted 81 spots up the leaderboard. "And I think the tournament is all about confidence". "I can't still believe that I'm sitting right next to this trophy". She knows what she has to do, and she took a big step Saturday. Today, I kind of struggled a little bit with my putter, which is disappointing, but I think just kind of get better in my head and just go out tomorrow and make a lot of good shots and see if I can make some birdies.
"The KPMG Women's PGA Championship has quickly become synonymous with greatness, and what better venue to solidify that than Baltusrol", said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan.