South Korea’s Kim In-kyung won her third career LPGA title on Sunday, firing an eight-under par 64 to capture the Lorena Ochoa Invitational by three strokes.
Kim fired nine birdies against a lone bogey for her first triumph since last year’s State Farm Classic to finish 72 holes on 19-under par 269 and leave Norway’s Suzann Pettersen a runner-up for the sixth time in a winless season.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung finished with a 73 to tie for 18th place on six-under 282.
“I don’t think I can describe it in just one word,” Kim said. “It’s overwhelming. It means a lot to me. I don’t know how to take it all in.”
After she opened with a birdie, Kim added another at the par-3 fifth and finished the front nine with four birdies in a row, including par-3s at six and eight and concluding with the par-5 ninth.
Kim birdied the 11th and 15th to stretch her lead and answered her lone bogey at the par-3 17th with a birdie at the par-5 18th to capture the US$220,000 top prize.
Kim donated her winnings to charity, notably the Lorena Ochoa Foundation run by the former world No. 1 golfer who is Kim’s idol.
Pettersen began the day with a one-stroke lead and opened with birdies at the first and third holes before stumbling back with a double bogey six at the fourth.
The European standout gathered herself with back-to-back birdies on par-5s nine and 10 for the second day in a row, then repeated the feat at 13 and 14 but was unable to close the gap on Kim.
Pettersen has 11 top-five finishes this year but no title, having gone winless since last year’s Canadian Women’s Open. It was the sixth time in 10 opportunities that she failed to win when leading entering the final round.
“Second place is the first loser. It really feels like that,” Pettersen said. “I only have one word for it and I don’t want to say it.”
France’s Karine Icher was third on 273 after a final-round 68 with Americans Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer on 274 and Japan’s Ai Miyazato sixth on 275.
Miyazato moved into second place in the LPGA Player of the Year chase, only nine points behind leader Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who finished a disappointing weekend on one-over 289, with up to 30 on offer at the LPGA Championship.
Additional reporting by staff writer
Australia’s Adam Scott cruised to a three-shot victory at the Singapore Open yesterday, capping a fine fourth-round 68 with a birdie to become the first three-times winner of the event.
The Australian, a winner in 2005 and 2006, returned to the Sentosa Golf Club early yesterday to finish the weather-hit co-sanctioned tournament on 17-under-par.
Denmark’s Anders Hansen finished second after a 68 while Graeme McDowell (70) was tied for third with Rikard Karlberg (67) on 13-under-par.
Last year’s winner Ian Poulter started the day three shots off the lead but the Englishman slumped to a two-over-par round of 73 and finished tied for sixth.
Taiwan’s Chan Yih-shin carded a 70 to finish in tied 31st on four-under, while compatriot Lin Wen-tang finished down in tied 61st after a 73 left him on two-over.
Additional reporting by staff writer
Robert Garrigus won his first PGA Tour event on Sunday with a sizzling eight-under-par 64 to win the Disney Classic at Lake Buena Vista while overnight leader Roland Thatcher imploded.
Garrigus, who started the day five shots back of Thatcher, carded eight birdies to secure the win with a 21-under total of 267 that was three ahead of Thatcher (72).
Thatcher, who started the day four shots clear of the pack, bogeyed 12, 16 and 17 but made par on the final hole to secure second place and his PGA Tour card for next season.
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