Nor­way’s Pet­tersen wins 15th ca­reer LPGA ti­tle

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Nor­way’s Suzann Pet­tersen claimed her 15th ca­reer LPGA ti­tle with a one-stroke victory Sun­day in the Man­ulife Clas­sic, the fi­nal tune-up be­fore the sec­ond ma­jor cham­pi­onship of the sea­son.

Pet­tersen closed with a three-un­der 69 at the Whis­tle Bear Golf Club course to snap a two-year win­less drought and be­come the first Euro­pean win­ner in the tour­na­ment’s short his­tory.

“It was a tougher day to­day. But I fin­ished strong,” Pet­tersen said. “I felt I played good golf this week.”

Pet­tersen birdied two of the fi­nal three holes in the fourth round to edge Amer­i­can Brit­tany Lang, the event’s in­au­gu­ral cham­pion who fired a fi­nal-round 65. Pet­tersen fin­ished the tour­na­ment at 22-un­der par 266.

Park Hee-young won in 2013 and her South Korean com­pa­triot In­bee Park claimed the ti­tle last year.

The tour’s next stop is Har­ri­son, New York, for the Women’s PGA Cham­pi­onship where world No. 2 In­bee Park will try to de­fend her ma­jor ti­tle start­ing Thurs­day.

Colom­bia’s Mari­ajo Uribe, who was seek­ing her first ca­reer win, fin­ished alone in third at 270 af­ter cap­ping her week with a 72.

China’s Feng Shan­shan fired a 67 to fin­ish in a group of four play­ers who shared fourth on 272.

The 34-year-old Pet­tersen has looked good since re­turn­ing from a left shoul­der in­jury that forced her to pull out of a pair of tour­na­ments in April.

“There have been some tears and pain. I felt like I was bounc­ing my head against the wall with the in­juries and such,” she said.

Pet­tersen came into the round af­ter go­ing bo­gey through the first 54 holes.

She got off to rough start Sun­day with her first two bo­geys of the tour­na­ment in the ini­tial five holes, but then set­tled down with back-to­back birdies to close out her front nine.

She fin­ished with five pars, one bo­gey, two birdies and an ea­gle, on the par-five 12th, on the back nine.

“I made some stupid mis­takes early, but I kept dig­ging deep,” she said.

Cristie Kerr had a share of the lead as late as the ninth hole, but fi­nal free bo­geyed four in a row to close her round with a 73 and fin­ished tied with Feng.

Lang, who had five birdies and a bo­gey through 14 holes, caught fire with a 14-foot birdie putt at 15. She also birdied the 16th to join Pet­tersen and Kerr in the lead.

Lang drained her third straight birdie at the 17th, to grab the lead at 21-un­der.

Shortly af­ter Lang parred the 18th, Pet­tersen tapped in a birdie at the par-five 16th to tie Lang at mi­nus-21.

Pet­tersen rolled in a six-footer for birdie on 17 to move ahead by one. She two-putted the 18th for par and the victory.

In­bee Park shot four-un­der 68 to fin­ish tied for 11th at 13-un­der-par 275.

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