Kuala Lumpur, October 16 – Korea’s Na Yeon Choi won the 2011 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia title after an exciting final day battle with World No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
Choi birdied the last two par threes on KLGCC’s East Course, the 15th and 17th, with pinpoint irons shots to card a closing round of three-under-par 68 for a winning total of 15-under-par 269. Tseng made a strong final day charge with a superb score of six-under-par 65, but came up just one stroke short to settle for second place – a reversal of fortunes from last week’s tournament in Korea when Tseng won by one shot from Choi. Yeon Choi won the 2011 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia title after an exciting final day battle with World No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
“I am very proud of myself because I was able to control my emotions today. I was cool opening the day, but by the 15th I was becoming nervous as Yani (Tseng) was beginning to look intimidating, ” said Choi, who pocketed a cheque for US$285,000, and further added that she constantly checking the leaderboard for updates.
She also admitted that by the 18th, she was very nervous but fortunately she managed it well to overcome the pressure.
Playing one flight in front of Choi, Tseng missed a birdie attempt from 15 feet at the 18th hole but still set the clubhouse target of 14-under-par. Choi stood at the 18th tee on 15-under-par and needed a par four to seal the win, which was no easy task at the tough closing hole. The Korean showed nerves of steel and played the hole to perfection, finding the green in regulation and two-putting from 30 feet for the winning par.
Third place on 12-under-par 272 went to Spanish sensation Azahara Munoz, who closed with a solid 69 on a cloudy day at KLGCC. Korean icon Pak Se Ri was fourth on 274 after a final day 69, one shot clear of the American duo of Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lang.
Lang had started the last round just one behind Choi and was in contention for most of the day until an error-strewn final six holes which included one double bogey, three bogeys and one birdie.
Top Malaysian honours went to the country’s leading amateur Kelly Tan, who finished in 65th place on 13-over-par after rounds of 77, 73, 74 and 73.
Leading Final Round Scores:
269: Choi Na-Yeon (Kor) 66-68-67-68
270: Tseng Yani (Tpe) 69-67-69-65
272: Azahara Munoz (Esp) 67-68-68-69
274: Pak Se-Ri (Kor) 72-68-65-69
275: Stacy Lewis (USA) 68-65-72-70, Brittany Lang (USA) 66-67-69-73
277: Angela Stanford (USA) 71-71-68-67, Suzann Pettersen (Nor) 68-69-69-71
278: Christel Boeljon (Ned) 68-73-71-66, Feng Shanshan (Chn) 68-73-70-67, Amanda Blumenherst (USA) 70-69-71-68, Paula Creamer (USA) 71-67-69-71