PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS (AFP) - South Korean rookie Kim Sei Young won a play-off on Sunday to capture the Bahamas LPGA Classic, while teen Lydia Ko kept the world's top ranking, foiling a bid by Park In Bee.
Kim sank a five-foot birdie putt on the final regulation hole to reach the play-off, then followed with a six-foot birdie putt on the same 18th green on the first extra hole to defeat Thai teen Ariya Jutanugarn and compatriot Yoo Sun Young and win the crown in only her second US tour appearance.
"I feel really great," she said. "I was really nervous. I just focused on my game. I can't find the words. Just crying."
Kim, 22 and a three-time winner on the Korean Tour, fired a five-under par 68 in the final round to join Jutanugarn and Yoo on 14-under 278 and force a play-off on the par-5 18th hole.
American Brittany Lincicome was fourth on 279 with South Korea's Park and American Danielle Kang on 280 and New Zealand's Ko joined by Spain's Azahara Munoz and Americans Gerina Piller and Lexi Thompson on 281.
That was good enough for Ko to keep the top ranking she took last week, the 17-year-old Kiwi becoming the youngest golf world No. 1 in history by overtaking Park.
For a while, it appeared Park would regain the top spot after she birdied the second and fourth holes and was in contention down the final holes. But a three-putt bogey at the par-3 12th set her back and at 16, Park's approach found a difficult lie near a water hazard and she took another bogey.
A closing birdie put her one stroke ahead of Ko at the finish, but not high enough to dethrone the teen.