Korea’s Inbee Park gave a putting master-class in the final round of the HSBC Women’s Champions, claiming the title by one shot over Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn.
Park carded a superb eight-under-par 64 and could even afford the luxury of a bogey at the last hole, finishing with a total of 19-under-par 269 at Sentosa Golf Club’s New Tanjong Course to win the tournament for the second time.
Ariya meanwhile shot a closing 66 for runner-up honours on 18-under-par, continuing her pursuit of Lydia Ko for the top spot in the Women’s Rolex World Ranking.
“I putted really well and I was just in the zone today,” said Park, who won the gold medal in last year’s Rio Olympics but has struggled with injuries since.
“It was very consistent ball-striking all week and obviously there were a lot of birdie opportunities out there and I was able to convert many of them today,” added the 28-year-old.
World No 2 Ariya emerged as her strongest challenger down the stretch and looked to be taking the match down to the wire when she hit her tee shot at the par-three 17th to within five feet of the pin. But Park nailed a 25-foot bomb and, although Ariya made birdie too, enjoyed a two-shot cushion going down the par-four 18th.
There was a chance of a two-shot swing on the last hole when Park hit her approach into a greenside bunker, but Ariya missed her birdie attempt and the closing bogey from the Korean was inconsequential.
Another Korean, Sung Hyun Park, shot her fourth successive 68 to claim outright third place on 16-under-par. Third round leader Michelle Wie of the United States closed with a 72 to settle for joint fourth on 14-under-par with Canada’s Brooke Henderson and 2016 winner Ha Na Jang of Korea.
Results (Top 10 and ties)
269 – Inbee Park 67-67-71-64
270 – Ariya Jutanugarn 67-68-69-66
272 – Sung Hyun Park 68-68-68-68
274 – Brooke M. Henderson 67-70-71-66, Ha Na Jang 70-67-68-69, Michelle Wie 66-69-67-72
275 – So Yeon Ryu 73-70-66-66, Anna Nordqvist 67-70-70-68
276 – Mirim Lee 74-68-69-65, Chella Choi 70-70-70-66, Lydia Ko 69-68-67-72