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Lang wins Open playoff after Nordqvist penalty

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Another USGA championship, another event marred by a rules infraction. Here's how things ended up at the U.S. Women's Open, where a late penalty helped Brittany Lang win her first career major:

Leaderboard: Brittany Lang (-6, won three-hole aggregate playoff), Anna Nordqvist (-6), Lydia Ko (-4), Sung-Hyun Park (-4), Amy Yang (-4), Eun-Hee Ji (-4), Stacy Lewis (-3)

What it means: Nordqvist started the final round six shots off the pace, but she rocketed to the top of the standings with a bogey-free 67. Lang held sole possession of the lead until a three-putt bogey on No. 17, leading to a three-hole playoff. Things took a turn on the second extra hole when Nordqvist received a two-shot penalty for grounding her club in a fairway bunker, turning a par into a double bogey and giving Lang the victory with an easy par on the third hole of the aggregate playoff. Lang won the playoff by three strokes. She made three pars, while Nordqvist made par, double bogey, bogey.

Round of the day: Nordqvist was blemish-free through her first 19 holes, which will normally distinguish a player on a USGA layout. The Swede carded three birdies along with an eagle on the par-5 15th, and she seemed to be on cruise control until USGA officials informed her on the third extra hole that she had incurred the decisive, two-shot penalty.

Best of the rest: Lang appeared unfazed by the pressures of a major championship, with four birdies sprinkled against three bogeys en route to a 1-under 71. That included a lengthy birdie putt on No. 16 that gave her the lead, and Lang coolly strung together three straight pars in overtime. After finishing T-2 at this event in 2005 as an amateur, she now has her maiden major title.

Biggest disappointment: The seemingly unflappable Ko finally flinched. Starting the day with a one-shot lead, she followed a bogey on No. 8 with a sloppy double on the next hole after her attempted layup on the par-5 found a hazard. She wasn't able to get much going on the back nine as her trio was put on the clock on the 12th hole, and after carding a 3-over 75 the world No. 1 missed the playoff by two shots, having squandered what seemed like an ideal opportunity to add to her major trophy haul.

Shot of the day: Nordqvist's approach to the second extra hole didn't appear decisive in real time, but the two-shot penalty that the Swede incurred by touching a few grains of sand proved to be the difference between victory and defeat.

Quote of the day: "As a young American girl, this is what you dream of. You dream of winning tournaments, but the U.S. Women's Open, this is everything." - Lang