American Brittany Lang sealed her maiden major title in controversial circumstances ©Getty Images

American Brittany Lang secured her maiden major title by winning a controversial play-off against Anna Nordqvist of Sweden at the Women’s US Open at the CordeValle Golf Club in California.

After both players finished their final rounds on six-under-par, the Swedish player was given a two-stroke penalty by tournament officials for touching sand in a bunker on the second play-off hole.

It came after television replays showed she had “grounded her club” and had moved sand in the bunker, which is prohibited, condemning Nordqvist to second place behind Lang.

The Swede, winner of the 2009 Women’s PGA Championship, was visibly perturbed by the United States Golf Association (USGA) after they did not inform her until her approach shot on the 18th, while Lang was told before her third to the last green.

Nordqvist was given the penalty when the scores were level and eventually lost by three strokes after she bogeyed the final play-off hole.

Lang had carded a one-under 71, while Nordqvist produced an excellent round of five-under to force a play-off.

Anna Nordqvist of Sweden was given a two-shot penalty during the play-off with Brittany Lang ©Getty Images
Anna Nordqvist of Sweden was given a two-shot penalty during the play-off with Brittany Lang ©Getty Images

World number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand, who was the overnight leader, finished joint third on four-under-par along with South Korean trio Sung Hyun Park, Ji Eun-hee and Amy Yang.

Ko, the 2016 ANA Inspiration champion, had looked well placed at the start of the day but shot a disappointing three-over par 75, which included a double bogey and two bogeys in the middle second of her round.

“I'm thankful they told me before my wedge shot so I could take a little bit more club,” Lang said.

"They should tell you as soon as they know.

“I really don't think today was that big of a deal. 

"Anna happened to hit her third shot.

“They have to go look and check these things. 

"It's not that easy.

"I just said sorry to Anna [at the end] - I know she is probably super mad."