Date: May 15, 2008

D�j� vu as Shin is once more edged in a playoff

Young Korean hotshot Ji-Yai Shin who captured the imagination of golf fans in Australia last summer has finished second in a playoff for the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup on the weekend. Shin finished tied for the lead alongside Akiko Fukushima who battled back from the brink to win her first major title in 11 years. In a nail-biting finish to a tournament that gained major status this year, Fukushima and Shin battled over five playoff holes on the treacherous 18th green before the 34-year-old Japanese veteran prevailed over the current world number 7, who earlier this year lost a playoff battle with Karrie Webb for the Women&aposs Australian Open Championship. Fukushima earned her 24th LPGA of Japan victory, third major title with a bogey after Shin failed to hole her bogey putt on the 202-yard par three finishing hole. The end was a surprise even for Fukushima, who was preparing to go back to the tee for a sixth playoff hole when Shin&aposs bogey putt slipped past the hole. “She is such a good player, I didn&apost know how I was going to beat her,” said Fukushima, who broke into a flood of tears after realizing she had won. “I don&apost know how many times I was ready to give up,” said Fukushima, who appeared to be on the ropes in the playoff as well as during the regular 18 holes. She started the round with a one-stroke lead over China&aposs Zhang Na, and closed with a one-over-par 73 to finish 72 holes on the soggy Tokyo Yomiuri Country Club course with a four under par, 284 total. Playing in the final group with Fukushima, Shin shot a 1one-under-par 71 to force the playoff, while Zhang finished in a tie for third place with Sakura Yokomine. In demanding conditions on a tough 6,523-yard layout, persistent rain and temperatures hovering just above 10 C, seven players broke par in the final round, while Fukushima and Shin were the only ones able to finish the tournament under par. Australian Tamie Durdin led the tournament after an opening round of two under par 70 but faded with rounds of 79 and 84 before a final round 71 left her tied for 50th place. Nikki Campbell finished T35 with rounds of 74,77,76 & 76. Joanne Mills received a sponsor invitation courtesy of her number two ranking on the 2007-2008 ALPG Tour Order of Merit, but struggled in her first visit to Japan, missing the halfway cut after rounds of 81 and 80.