IRVING, Texas (AFP): World number one Park In-Bee drained a birdie putt at the fwinal hole to win the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout, holding off Spain’s Carlota Ciganda by one stroke.
Park claimed the sixth LPGA title of her career and her third this year, a run of success that saw her rise to number one in the world this month -- one week after her major victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The South Korean played steady golf, posting four birdies without a bogey, her four-under 67 at Las Colinas giving her a 13-under total of 271.
Ciganda, who kept the pressure on Park with her own birdie at 18, finished with a one-under 70 for 272.
“Today coming into the final round, I was two shots back, and I didn’t really think about winning so much,” Park said. “The front nine I was given a lot of birdie chances out there, and nothing seemed to be going in, so I was a little bit frustrated.”
Ciganda, the 2012 Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour, started the day with a two-stroke lead. After a bogey at the second she settled down, posting birdies at the third, sixth, eighth and 10th to move to 14-under for the tournament -- two strokes in front of Park as they dueled in the final group.
But the young Spaniard’s round came unstuck with a bogey at the 14th, followed by a double-bogey at 15 that let Park assume a one-shot lead. At the par-four 14th, Ciganda drove behind a tree and her attempt to hit over saw her ball clip a branch. At the 15th her ball bounced into the water on the right. “I saw the ball bouncing on the green, so I thought that maybe it was there long,” Ciganda said of her approach into 15. “But when I was approaching the green, I could see that the wind was hard and the ball was in the water.
“So I mean I just tried to make up on that, and I missed my putt, so then it was a six and that was it. I think that was the key hole because until that time I think I was winning by two and then by one.”
At the par-five 18th, Park was in the fairway and Ciganda just off the fairway with a testing shot through the trees to the green.
Park opted to go for the green and finished up just short, while Ciganda fired through the green.
Ciganda’s pitch left her a tough birdie putt, but she rattled it in to pull level, leaving Park, who chipped to about four feet, with a birdie putt to win.
The South Korean calmly rolled hers in, giving a little fist pump as the ball dropped.
“I was trying to be very patient and finally the last one dropped.”
Norway’s Suzann Pettersen carded a final-round 66 to claim third on 274.
South Koreans Park Hee-Young and Ryu So-Yeon shared fourth on 275, Park after a blazing seven-under 64 that included seven birdies with no bogeys and Ryu with a 68.
South Korean I.K. Kim finished alone in sixth after a 68 for 276.