LPGA.com counts down to the end of 2012 with the LPGA Tour's 12 top stories of the year. Join us as we look back at the year's most memorable milestones. Read about 9-hole Playoff in Story No. 5.
Storylines weren’t lacking in the final round at this year’s Kingsmill Championship. Paula Creamer was looking to end a two-year winless drought, her last victory coming at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, while Jiyai Shin was trying to cap off a great comeback following mid-season wrist surgery to repair a broken bone in her hand. But it was after the final putt dropped in regulation that the real drama began outside Williamsburg, Va.
It took nine playoff holes and an extra day for Shin to defeat Creamer for the Kingsmill Championship title. The two were sent into extra holes after Creamer missed a short par putt on the 18th to seal the win on Sunday. It was just the first glimpse that fans would get of that 18th hole as they became well acquainted with it by the time darkness settled in on the Kingsmill Resort.
Creamer and Shin played the 18th hole a total of eight times and exchanged pars each time. Adding to the drama was the fact that the two players weren’t just racing against the daylight, but both had scheduled commercial flights to England late on Sunday night for the following week’s RICOH Women’s British Open. As the sunlight grew very dim, the two players headed back to the 18th tee to try to see if they could finish the playoff but the darkness was too much and the decision was made to finish the playoff on Monday.
A crowd gathered on Monday morning to see the playoff come to an end, but it would be a short-lived drama. The playoff resumed on the 16th hole and after similar approach shots Creamer three-putted to take a bogey for the hole, giving Shin an easy putt for par to seal the win.
The lengthy playoff marked the second longest sudden-death playoff in LPGA history coming in just behind the the 1972 Corpus Christi Civitan Open where Jo Ann Prentice defeated Sandra Palmer and Kathy Whitworth on the 10th hole.