Park Wins Titleholders & Gets Big Payday

Hee Young Park closed with a 2-under 70 to win the CME Group Titleholders. The South Korean carded three birdies and a bogey on the front nine and all pars the rest of the way to finish at 9-under 279 in the LPGA Tour's season-ender at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando.

With the victory, the first of her career, Park earned $500,000, over $400,000 more than runner-ups Paula Creamer and Sandra Gal, who finished two strokes back at 281. Creamer, who had a 70 Sunday, and third-round co-leader Gal (72) each took home $95,516.

Park said she was getting anxious on the back nine, but her caddie Kylie Pratt calmed her down. "Back nine getting like nervous and then getting tight in my body, so my caddie said, just keep going, keep trying to like first round, you're on the tee first time each hole, and just keep doing the same thing, and then I say, okay," she said.

"And then even No. 18, last putt, I just thought about this is first hole, first hole putt, like I just remind and then putt."

Some of that pressure, Park admitted, came from her sponsors. "They really, really badly waiting for the win," she said in halting English. "Why not you win? Why not? That's what I'm saying, I'm trying every week, and I work hard. I want to make some low under par every day, and then every day, every week, win. But everybody played good, and then - I think that they are really, really happy right now."

Creamer hasn't won since the U.S. Women's Open in July 2010. The 25-year-old Californian said later that she hasn't been able to put together three or four good rounds to pull off a win. "It's been a year of definitely just almost there but not quite good enough for a lot of things. But I look at it, and these last couple tournaments I definitely played a lot better. My attitude on the golf course this year was 100 times better than I believe it's ever been.

"Confidence-wise I think that I'm a little bit back, and when you struggle your confidence tends to go away, and these last couple events I've definitely gotten that back. I'm really looking forward to the off-season. I want to win. I want to be the best, and I know what it takes. Unfortunately I didn't win this year, but next year is another year."

Gal had three birdies and a like number of dropped shots for her even-par effort. Despite being disappointed, Gal tipped her cap to the winner. "I had just kind of a slow start. I was kind of struggling the first nine, and I got kind of a little pissed off at myself to be honest with you, so I made a couple of good birdies, and I thought I had a good chance with the final three holes to make some more birdies, but that bogey cost me on the par-5," said the 26-year-old from Dusseldorf.

"I was committing to every single shot there, just that putt downhill was very tricky, and I hit a good second putt, it just lipped out. There's nothing you can do. Hee Young played great, and she really deserves to win. I'm really happy for her."

Tied for fourth at 6-under 282 were South Korean Na Yeon Choi (70) and Norway's Suzann Pettersen (72). Four strokes back at 2-under were Michelle Wie (70), Cristie Kerr (71) and Yani Tseng (74).

Tseng got into contention before the final round with a 6-under 66 on Saturday. But the Taiwanese player never got untracked Sunday, carding five bogeys and three birdies.

"Some disappointment today," said Tseng, the No. 1-ranked player in the world and two-time Player of the Year on the LPGA Tour. "I had three bogeys on the front nine and I didn't make any putts and then just kind of thinking too much, trying too hard to make putts. I really, really wanted to win this tournament and just didn't go the way I wanted.

"Kind of disappointed. But it's the last day of the last tournament of the year, so it's - I'm happy and just nice to have something that I know I can work on in the off-season."

The low round of the day - a 67 - was carded by Brittany Lang. The 26-year-old Texan ended up tied for 26th at 5-over 293. Lexi Thompson, the 16-year-old from Coral Gables, Fla., had a 74 for a T-36 finish at 8-over 296.

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