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Golf roundup: Penalty on Nordqvist delivers US Women’s Open to Lang

Brittany Lang holds up her trophy on the 18th green after winning the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
Brittany Lang holds up her trophy on the 18th green after winning the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)
Associated Press

Just when it seemed as if the U.S. Women’s Open in San Martin, California, would come down to the final hole of the three-hole playoff, a rules violation changed everything and helped deliver Brittany Lang her first major title.

Lang was the beneficiary of a delayed, two-stroke penalty called on Anna Nordqvist on Sunday, as she won the title she was so close to seizing when she was runner-up 11 years ago as an amateur.

“You never want to win with a penalty or something like that happen, especially to Anna, who is a friend of mine and a great player and a classy girl,” Lang said. “But it’s unfortunate. It’s part of the game and it happened that way.”

Lang made par on all three holes of the aggregate playoff and Nordqvist was given a two-stroke penalty for touching the sand with her club in a fairway bunker on the second playoff hole, helping deliver Lang the title.

The players were not told of the penalty until they were in the middle of playing the final hole, after officials reviewed replays in the latest controversy at a USGA event after the delayed penalty called in the final round on eventual men’s U.S. Open winner Dustin Johnson last month.

“Seemed kind of unreal that it happened, but it does,” Nordqvist said. “It wasn’t any reason to question it. But I’m certainly disappointed of the timing of it.”

Lang then sealed the win with a short par putt on the final playoff hole, while Nordqvist made bogey to lose by three shots.

Lang shot a 1-under 71 to finish with a 6-under 282 for the tournament at CordeValle for her second win in 287 tournaments on the LPGA Tour. She survived a bogey on the 17th hole that led to the playoff before recovering in the playoff for a breakthrough win at age 30.

“I think this is absolutely huge, a huge momentum builder to say you won the U.S. Open,” Lang said. “I think this is a huge, a huge step in the right direction for my career.”

Champions Tour

Paul Goydos shot a bogey-free 69 on Sunday to win the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, New York.

A birdie at the 17th hole gave Goydos a two-shot victory over Wes Short Jr. (69) as he finished at 14-under-par 202 for his third victory on the Champions Tour.

Qualifier Neal Lancaster (70) was third at 11 under, while John Riegger (72) finished tied for fourth at 10 under with Joe Durant (68).

Glen Day (69) and Kevin Sutherland (69) were another shot back in a tie for sixth.

John Daly (73) was three shots behind to start and couldn’t muster anything. He made bogey at the par-5 fifth hole and another at No. 9 to make the turn at 7 under, where he finished.

Goydos, runner-up at En-Joie Golf Club last year to Jeff Maggert when he faltered late, began play tied for the lead with Riegger. Goydos was the steadiest of the leaders, carding eight pars and making birdie at the par-4 sixth hole. A birdie at No. 10 dropped him to 13 under, three shots ahead of Riegger, Short, and Lancaster.

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