Pettersen Closes Deal in Taiwan

Suzann Pettersen successfully defended her title in the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship. The $2 million, 72-hole event took place at Sunrise Golf & Country Club in Yang Mei, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

The 32-year-old from Oslo closed with a 69 to finish at 9-under 279, five shots ahead of Azahara Munoz (70). Pettersen pulled away thanks to three birdies on her final six holes.

The victory was worth $300,000 for Pettersen, who secured her third title of the year. It also drew her closer to No.1 Inbee Park - who didn't play in Taiwan - in the Rolex World Golf Ranking.

"It feels great to come here and defend my title and play as well as I did. It was very tough out there. Since the very first shot on Thursday, the conditions gave us a very big challenge," Pettersen said.

"Today, Azahara gave me an even bigger challenge. She played really good on the front nine - well, she played really good all around. I think I can almost thank her for keep pressing and keep pushing me because I just had to keep staying aggressive and trying to make birdies. So it was a great result for me.

"I kind of - it's almost hard when you have a big lead and you go out and obviously you want to win, but this course, nothing - you're only one shot away from a disaster out here. Just tried to keep my head straight and do what I'm supposed to do."

Sweden's Caroline Hedwall shot a 70 to end up in third at 2-under 286, while South Korean Eun-Hee Ji also had a 70 to end up at 287. A stroke further back was Americans Mina Harigae (68) and Irene Cho (71), and LPGA Hall of Fame member Se Ri Pak (71).

Local favorite Yani Tseng carded her second straight 72 to finish tied for 40th at 10-over 298.

The win was Pettersen's 14th LPGA title. She's won six times - including twice in Taiwan - since October 2012.

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