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Pettersen Rallies to Win Safeway Classic as Tseng Falters
While Taiwan's Yani Tseng threw away the three-stroke lead she enjoyed entering the final round, Suzann Pettersen slipped in a 5-under 67 to win the Safeway Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Ore.
The 32-year-old Norwegian and emotional leader of the victorious 2013 European Solheim Cup team, finished at 20-under 268 for her 12th LPGA Tour title.
After a double-bogey on the par-3 second, Pettersen reeled off eight birdies in the next 11 holes to win going away.
As Tseng - who opened with rounds of 67, 68 and 63 and looked to be regaining her former overpowering form - struggled, Stacy Lewis jumped to the top of the leaderboard midway through the final round.
But Pettersen's birdie run overtook the No. 2-ranked Lewis, who shot a 68 to end up as the runner-up at 18-under 270.
"It's been pretty good," the 32-year-old from Oslo, now a two-time winner of the Safeway Classic, said of her recent stretch of inspired play. "I'm very happy. It feels like I have been knocking on the door for the last three events weeks or three we've had. This is a good one and I love Portland."
Pettersen, who won the LPGA Lotte Championship in April, earned $195,000 for her latest title.
Tseng's final round was disastrous. Seeking her first victory since the Kia Classic in March of last year, the 24-year-old doubled the par-3 second and it was downhill from there. With three more bogeys - against her only two birdies on the day, the 15-time winner on the LPGA Tour made the turn in 3-over 39.
It only got worse as Tseng, who held the No. 1 position in the world golf rankings for 109 straight weeks from 2011 to early this year, tacked on three more bogeys the rest of the way for another 39 on the par-72 course.
Though Lewis came up short, she - like Pettersen - is pleased with the state of her game. "I'm real excited," said the three-time 2013 winner who's looking to add the Evian Masters in two weeks as her second major title this year (Lewis won the Women's British Open in August).
"I've played well (in France) the last few years. I mean, coming off of this where my game is right where it needs to be, I'm excited. I just need to see a few more putts go in, so that's probably all I'll do this off-week."
Alone in third at 271 was Lizette Salas and in fourth was Cristie Kerr; both carded 69s.
Germany's Caroline Masson (70) was fifth at 273 following a 70, and Gerina Piller (66) and Sandra Gal (69) shared sixth at 274.
For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.
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