Park holds off Ci­ganda to claim Ochoa In­vi­ta­tional

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MEX­ICO CITY: Park In-Bee capped her fi­nal round with back-to-back birdies yes­ter­day to win the Lorena Ochoa In­vi­ta­tional, set­ting up a tan­ta­liz­ing show­down with world No. 1 Ly­dia Ko in next week’s LPGA Tour Cham­pi­onship.

The 27-year-old South Korean fired a 64 to reach a 18un­der 270 to­tal and fin­ish three strokes ahead of play­ing part­ner Car­lota Ci­ganda for her fifth ti­tle of the year. Spain’s Ci­ganda closed with a nine-un­der 63 while US LPGA Tour rookie-of-the-year Kim Sei-Young (66), who was the other player in the fi­nal group, fin­ished third, five strokes be­hind Park.

“It was close to a per­fect day,” Park said. “I didn’t make many mis­takes and I was able to fo­cus on my game.” Park is play­ing her first event since with­draw­ing from the Blue Bay tour­na­ment on Hainan Is­land in China ear­lier this month be­cause of a cyst on her left hand.

Park needed to fin­ish eighth or bet­ter at the Club de Golf Mex­ico course to re­main in the Player of the Year chase. She is aim­ing to take top hon­ours for the LPGA sea­son and to do that she needs to re­gain the num­ber one rank­ing from New Zealand’s Ko.

Park also is chas­ing Ko for the most money won on the Tour this sea­son. Ko did not play this week. She and Park will square off at the sea­son-end­ing Tour Cham­pi­onship in Florida, where Ko will be de­fend­ing her 2014 ti­tle. “It is a big mo­ti­va­tion,” Park said of go­ing for the Player-of-theYear award. “You love to have it when you fin­ish your sea­son but if I don’t get it, it is still a great sea­son as I have two ma­jors.

“This is my ninth year on the tour. I have definitely achieved a lot of things. It has been a thrill.” Park rolled in a four foot putt on the 72nd hole for the win. Her bo­geyfree round in­cluded eight birdies.

“My put­ter was really good this week. I made some 30 foot­ers out there,” she said. Ci­ganda got off to a hot start with an ea­gle and four birdies in her first seven holes. Her only blem­ish on the day was a bo­gey at the par-three 16th which came as she was try­ing to chase down Park for the lead. Like Ci­ganda, Kim ea­gled the par-five sec­ond hole. She also had three straight birdies around the turn, be­gin­ning at the ninth. Kim was com­ing off her third win of the sea­son at the Blue Bay event which saw her clinch rookie-of-theyear hon­ours. South Korea’s Ryu So-Yeon fin­ished solo fourth af­ter shoot­ing a 67 for a 11-un­der 277 while Ja­pan’s Sakura Yokomine was alone in fifth at nine-un­der. — AFP

MEX­ICO CITY: South Korea’s In­bee Park kisses the tro­phy at the end of the LPGA Lorena Ochoa In­vi­ta­tional in Mex­ico City, Sun­day, Nov. 15, 2015. In­bee Park won the In­vi­ta­tional, hold­ing off Car­lota Ci­ganda for her fifth vic­tory of the sea­son and 17th LPGA Tour ti­tle.

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