Suzann Pettersen won the Safeway Classic for the second time in three years, taking advantage of Taiwanese playing partner Yani Tseng’s final-round collapse on Sunday at Columbia Edgewater.
Three strokes behind leader Tseng entering the round, the third-ranked Pettersen closed with a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over second-ranked Stacy Lewis.
Pettersen finished at 20-under 268 for her 12th LPGA Tour victory. She also won the LPGA Lotte in Hawaii in April and won a Ladies European Tour event in March in China. She won the 2011 tournament at Pumpkin Ridge.
“I felt like this was a good bounce back from last week, when I kind of screwed it up on the last day,” said Pettersen, who last week finished eight strokes behind winner Lydia Ko in the Canadian Women’s Open. “I tried to give myself chances. Once I got going, I felt like I made a lot of clutch putts. The putter was a good friend of mine.”
Tseng followed her third-round 63 with a 78 to slip to ninth at 12-under. The Taiwanese star, a 15-time winner on the tour who had a 109-week run at No. 1 in the world ranking, is winless in 37 events since the Kia Classic in March last year.
Lewis, a three-time winner this year, shot a 68.
“It was a little frustrating. I played really good, though, so I can’t be upset,” Lewis said. “A lot of those putts I hit exactly where I wanted to and they just didn’t go in. A bogey-free tournament I’ve never done before, so I keep checking things off the list.”
Lizette Salas was third at 17 under after a 69 and 2008 champion Cristie Kerr was another stroke back after a 69.
A 72-hole event for the first time, the tournament returned to Columbia Edgewater after four years at Pumpkin Ridge.
For Pettersen, the Safeway victory capped an emotional three-week period. It started with the Solheim Cup, where Pettersen helped Europe rout the US.
A key point during Pettersen’s final round was her response after hitting a poor 8-iron at the par-three second hole that led to a double bogey.
She quickly recovered with a birdie on the par-four third, which started a stretch where she birdied five of the next six holes and eight of 11.
Pettersen made an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-3 eighth to overtake Lewis for the lead, curled in a 5-footer for birdie on the par-5 10th and made a 25-footer from off the green on the par-4 11th.