Jamie Farr Kroger Classic
Jamie Farr Kroger Classic
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Pak wins six player playoff

A year after running away with the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic, South Korea's Se Ri Pak rolled in a 3-meter (10-foot) birdie putt on the first extra hole Sunday to win the most crowded playoff in LPGA Tour history.

Pak, a winner by nine shots a year ago, was the last of six players to putt on the first playoff hole. From below the hole, she rolled the ball into the heart of the cup to collect the dlrs 135,000 first-place check and her second victory of the season.

Pak was joined by Australia's Karrie Webb and Mardi Lunn, Sweden's Carin Koch and Americans Sherri Steinhauer and Kelli Kuehne in the playoff. They played the par-5 18th in a sixsome.

First Koch and then Kuehne barely missed their birdie putts before Pak hit hers to the roars of a large gallery, which surrounded the green and lined the fairway at the top of a large hill overlooking the hole.

There have been three previous five-player playoffs, the last in 1981.

Pak closed with an even-par 71 to make the playoff at 8-under 276. The round was played in high humidity and temperatures near 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).

The loss was particularly bitter for Koch, a 28-year-old Swede who was seeking her first LPGA victory. She held a two-stroke lead coming to the 72nd hole - the same hole where Pak would later hit the winning putt.

Koch's drive found a grove of pine trees left of the fairway and she hit trees on her next two shots. That left her 96 meters (105 yards) short of the green, from where she hit a 9-iron over the green. She fluffed her chip, which ended up on the fringe and 5 meters (17 feet) behind the hole, and then two putted.

Kuehne, who recorded a 5-under-par 66 earlier in the day, had to be summoned by cell phone after leaving the course. Down by two shots with Koch playing the finishing hole, she thought she had been eliminated from a potential playoff.

Lunn, who had led each of the first two rounds, Webb and Steinhauer each shot 70, while Koch had a 69.

A year ago, Pak shot an LPGA-record 61 in the second round and finished at 261 for the lowest 72-hole total in tour history, winning by nine strokes.

This time, Pak never could string together any birdies. She was 1-under through 11 holes, but then bogeyed the 12th and 15th holes.

There were dramatic swings up and down the leaderboard all day. Six players had at least a share of the lead at one time or another.