Yoo Sun-young of South Korea won the Kraft Nabisco Championship after the first hole of a sudden death play-off with I.K. Kim, although she benefited from a horror miss from her rival.

Kim blew a golden opportunity to win the title in regulation play having missed from no more than a foot on the 18th, minutes before losing in the play-off.

Yoo holed her 15-foot birdie putt in the play-off to take the first Major of the LPGA Tour season before taking the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond in celebration of her great win.

Although delighted with her Major victory, she had sympathy for her competitor. “She’s a great putter,” Yoo said. “She usually doesn’t miss that kind of putt, but in sports, you never know what’s going to happen.”

Five players had held the lead at some point on a dramatic final day and it was Kim who has been the most consistent before coming unstuck on 18, which left the gallery shocked as she raised her hand to her mouth after the ball lipped out.

“I played straight, and it actually just broke to the right, even that short putt,” said the 23-year-old South Korean. “So it was unfortunate on 18, but I feel good about my game. It’s getting better.”

Elsewhere, favourite Yani Tseng finished third at eight under with a disappointing final-round 73.

England’s amateur star Charley Hull, meanwhile, finished in a very respectable tie for 38th spot.

Kraft Nabisco Championship final leaderboard
Dinah Shore Course, Rancho Mirage, California
Mar 29-Apr 1, purse $2,000,000, par72

1 Sun-Young Yoo (KOR) 69 69 72 69 $300,000
2 In-Kyung Kim (KOR) 70 70 70 69 $182,538
3 Yani Tseng (TAI) 68 68 71 73 $132,418
T4 Hee Kyung Seo (KOR) 69 72 69 71 $77,202
T4 Stacy Lewis (USA) 74 71 70 66 $77,202

T4 Karin Sjodin (SWE) 72 67 68 74 $77,202
T4 Amy Yang (KOR) 66 74 72 69 $77,202
T8 Natalie Gulbis (USA) 76 71 70 65 $44,806
T8 Se Ri Pak (KOR) 70 69 72 71 $44,806
T8 Na Yeon Choi
(KOR) 72 67 71 72 $44,806
T11 Eun Hee Ji (KOR) 71 69 70 73 $34,003
T11 Vicky Hurst (USA) 70 70 71 72 $34,003
T11 Ha-Neul Kim (KOR) 71 71 70 71 $34,003
T11 Angela Stanford (USA) 72 71 70 70 $34,003
T15 Haeji Kang (KOR) 69 68 72 75 $26,184
T15 Catriona Matthew (SCO) 74 70 70 70 $26,184
T15 Azahara Munoz (ESP) 73 72 67 72 $26,184

T15 Suzann Pettersen (NOR) 72 74 66 72 $26,184
T15 Karie Webb (AUS) 71 72 71 70 $26,184