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Yani Tseng grabs her first title of the year at LPGA Thailand event

2012/02/19 18:07:20

Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) Taiwan's Yani Tseng fired a sensational wedge to within inches of the cup on the final hole to ensure a birdie and defend her title at the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament on Sunday.

Tseng, who finished with a 6-under 66 on Sunday, won the tournament with a 19-under total of 269, edging Japan's Ai Miyazato by one shot and Jiyai Shin of South Korea by two in a pulsating conclusion to the year's second LPGA event.

The title is the world No. 1's first of the year after winning 12 titles worldwide in 2011.

Leading by one shot on the final hole, Tseng drove her tee shot left into a tree, but her ball bounced favorably into the rough. She then stroked a nine-iron into the fairway before hitting her dramatic wedge to stave off a challenge from Miyazato, who birdied the final two holes Sunday.

A shot out of the lead at the start of the day, Tseng started off hot Sunday with an eagle and three birdies in her first seven holes to go to 18-under and build up a sizable lead over the rest of the field.

But bogeys by the Taiwanese golfing star on the 10th and 13th and a flurry of birdies by Shin allowed the Korean to pull with a shot of the lead.

Shin and Miyazato gained a share of the lead with birdies at the 17th, but Tseng responded with a short-range putt on the same hole to put herself back in front, setting up the dramatic finish on 18 that left Tseng in tears.

(By Nell Shen)