Pettersen successfully defends Taiwan Championship title

The Sports NetworkOctober 27, 2013 

Yang Mei, Taiwan (SportsNetwork.com) - Suzann Pettersen birdied three of her last six holes on Sunday to post at 3-under 69 and successfully defend her title at the LPGA Taiwan Championship.

Pettersen claimed her 14th career LPGA Tour victory and third in the last five weeks at 9-under-par 279.

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

Azahara Munoz (70) shared the lead with Pettersen with six holes to go, but stumbled to a pair of bogeys during that stretch to finish in second place at 4-under 284.

Caroline Hedwall (70) took third place at Sunrise Golf & Country Club at 2- under and Eun-Hee Ji (70) captured fourth at minus-1.

Mina Harigae (68), Se Ri Pak (71) and Irene Cho (71) shared fifth at even-par 288.

Pettersen entered the final round with a 4-stroke lead, and quickly added to that advantage with a birdie at the second.

But a 2-stroke swing at the fourth dropped that cushion down to three as Pettersen bogeyed the hole while her playing partner Munoz birdied to move to 3-under.

After both Pettersen and Munoz birdied the seventh, Munoz birdied the eighth to cut further into her deficit.

The difference between the players was reduced to a single stroke following Pettersen's bogey at the ninth, and Munoz took advantage with a birdie at the 12th to pull even at 6-under.

The rest of the round belonged to Pettersen, however, as she took advantage of Munoz's bogey at the 13th with a birdie at the same hole to reclaim a 2-stroke advantage.

Pettersen made it two in a row with a birdie at the 14th to stretch her lead to three. Munoz then fell further behind with a bogey at the 16th before Pettersen closed out her late push with a birdie at the last.

"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 try to make birdies," Pettersen said.

NOTES: Pettersen's win was also her fourth this season and eighth straight top-10 finish ... Pettersen defended a title for the first time in her career ... Pettersen collected $300,000 with the win and has now crossed the $2 million mark for the season. She now sits within $93,613 of Inbee Park on the LPGA Official Money List.

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