Brittany Lang secured her maiden major title after beating Anna Nordqvist in a three-hole play-off at the US Open.

However, her victory may be remembered more for the two-stroke penalty imposed on the Swedish runner-up than Lang's excellent play over the four days at CordeValle in San Martin.

Nordqvist was deemed to have touched the sand with her club while playing a shot from a bunker at the second of the three play-off holes.

 

The players were not informed of the incident until they were on the final hole, after officials of the USGA viewed television replays.

Lang parred all three holes of the play-off, while her 29-year-old opponent bogeyed the third which together with her two-stroke penalty meant she lost by three shots.

And Nordqvist was unhappy that officials did not tell her of the indiscretion before playing the third and final hole of the play-off.

"I was in the fairway bunker there on 17. It was blowing 35, 40, and I had a 5-iron, downhill lie. Just focusing on hitting my shot," she said.

"Apparently I touched the sand. It wasn't on purpose and just one of those things. I have to deal with the consequences. Unfortunately it happened but it's not the end of the world.

"I wish the USGA would have told me a little bit earlier. They approached me after I had already hit my third shot into 18, then kind of ran up to Brittany to tell her that I got penalised.

"I don't know if it would have changed the outcome, but it certainly would have changed my aggressiveness into the 18th pin. I made a mistake and I will have to take the consequences for it."

The two-shot penalty was a disappointing end to the day for Nordqvist who earlier posted the lowest round on Sunday - a 67 - one of only two sub-70 scores. She hit 17 greens in regulation and did not bogey a single hole.

As for Lang, she closed with a one-under-par 71, a round that contained four birdies and three bogeys.

"You never want to win with a penalty or something like that, especially to Anna, who is a friend of mine and a great player and a classy girl," said Lang.

"But it's unfortunate. It's part of the game and it happened that way. But I think this is absolutely huge, a huge momentum builder to say you won the US Open.

"I think this is a huge huge step in the right direction for my career. It means absolutely everything. This is what you dream of. It's amazing."

Eleven years ago at the age of 19, Lang finished runner-up in the US Open as an amateur.

Lang capitalised on a surprising final-round collapse by world No 1 and 54-hole leader Lydia Ko.

The New Zealander made a double-bogey seven on the ninth hole and closed with a three-over 75 to finish in a tie-for-third - having led by two shots on the eighth.

Ko said: "I played really solid for the first seven holes, couldn't get some putts rolling, but just to be one-under through seven, I was in a good position.

"I made kind of a dumb bogey on eight and found some trouble on nine, and that kind of took me off a little bit.

"But I tried to have a positive mindset. There were still nine more holes to go, and you just never know what might have happened. I just try to put a smile on my face."

Elsewhere, Gerina Piller qualified for the Olympics thanks to an eighth place finish, which moved up her up to 15th in the World Ranking and a ticket on the plane to Rio.

 

282: Brittany Lang (US) (71)

282: Anna Nordqvist (Swe) (67)

Lang won three-hole play-off

284: Amy Yang (Kor) (73)

284: Ji Eun-Hee (Kor) (74)

284: Lydia Ko (Nzl) (75)

284: Park Sung-Hyun (Kor) (74)

285: Stacy Lewis (US) (71)

286: Jodi Ewart Shadoff (Eng) (70)

286: Gerina Piller (US) (70)

286: Cristie Kerr (US) (72)

 

From Sky Sports

 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

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