Taiwan’s Yani Tseng won the LPGA Northwest Arkansas Championship on Sunday, firing a six-under 65 for a one-shot victory over overnight leader Michelle Wie.
Tseng charged to the win on the back nine of the Pinnacle Country Club course, gaining momentum with four birdies in five holes from the 11th and capping her round with a birdie at the par-five 18th.
She took the title with a 13-under par total of 200.
“I just really play, one shot at a time, but if I don’t make lots of birdies today, I couldn’t win,” Tseng said.
Wie notched a 69 for 201. A day after playing Pinnacle’s back nine in seven-under Wie couldn’t match those fireworks. After a birdie and a bogey coming in she closed with back-to-back birdies, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Tseng.
“Yani played great,” Wie said. “Usually, if you’re 12 under, it’s good enough. I played good today. I had faith in myself, a couple iron shots went a little bit left today.”
Japan’s Mika Miyazato carded a 64 to finish third on 203.
Tseng claimed her fifth career LPGA title, three of them majors. She won the Kraft Nabisco Championship and Women’s British Open this year.
Juli Inkster, who at 50 was trying to become the oldest player to win on the tour, entered the day tied for second, but faded with a 72 that left her seven adrift.
Wie had been vying for her second victory in as many starts, after her triumph in the Canadian Women’s Open.
Wie took a three-shot lead into the round but fell into a tie with Inkster with a three-putt bogey at the sixth.
Wie responded with a birdie on seven and led Tseng by two strokes after both birdied the 11th.
As Wie scrambled for pars, Tseng birdied 12, 14 and 15 to seize the lead.
Wie fell two back with a bogey at 16, but again responded with a birdie at 17.
On 18, Tseng missed the fairway but fired her second shot some 200 yards to the fringe.
Wie missed the green with her second shot but both players ended up with birdies.
While Tseng has played well in majors she has sometimes struggled in smaller events.
Since her British Open victory she had tied for 45th at the tournament in Portland, Oregon and missed the cut at the Canadian Open.
“I was so thankful today,” said Tseng after winning the title.
“It was just so much fun to be here, it’s a nice little city, and we stayed at a nice hotel, played a great golf course, and I enjoyed the big crowd here,” she said. “There’s lots of people here this week.”
Taiwan’s Amy Hung tied with two others for 20th place with 210, while compatriot Candie Kung finished on 216.