Choi wins final LPGA Tour event of the year
If nothing else, Na Yeon Choi proved to be a big-money player this year on the LPGA Tour. Choi captured her first major this summer at the U.S. Women's Open, the biggest purse of the year. She turned a great season into her best one yet Sunday by winning the Titleholders and a $500,000 check, the second-biggest prize on tour.
For someone who has an appointment Monday in Orlando to buy a new house, the timing couldn't have been better.
She earned it at The TwinEagles Club in the final LPGA Tour event of the year by following good advice from her caddie on how to play the short par-4 16th, and delivering an exquisite shot with a 52-degree wedge to a deep, three-tiered green for a birdie that sent Choi on her way. ''I feel really great, and I'm really satisfied how I played - not just this week, but this season,'' said Choi, who finished at 14under 274.
Ryu, honored this week as the LPGA Rookie of the Year, hit 3-wood into about 25 feet for a two-putt birdie on the 13th to tie for the lead. But on the next hole, she didn't account for the wind making her 30-foot birdie putt faster than it looked. The putt went some 6 feet by the hole, and a three- putt bogey cost her a share of the lead. She never caught up the rest of the way. ''I learn one more thing,'' Ryu said. '' I have to think about the wind strength at the green.''
Choi took it from there, and seized control on the 16th, which can be reached off the tee with a big drive. Her cadd ie , Jason Hamilton, didn't think it was worth the risk. Anything short leaves an awkward pitch, which is what Ryu ended up facing. Anything too close to the green and to the left leaves a blind pitch to the back of the three-tiered green, and par becomes a good score.
Choi hit 3-wood to the left side of the fairway and a 52-wedge to a tiny spot on an elevated green she couldn't see. ''Left side of the fairway is a better angle to the second shot,'' Choi said. '' I think the pin was at 79 yards, but I just landed it almost at the pin. I tried to land it almost to the pin. There's not a lot of room.''
Brittany Lincicome also closed with a 70 to finish alone in third. NEWS