Park In-bee hits a shot in the final round of the World Ladies Championship tournament at Mission Hills Hainan in Haikou. Photo: AFP
World No 1 Park In-bee stormed to her first title of the year with a convincing five-shot victory in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Haikou in Hainan, China, on Sunday.
The South Korean came out on top in a head-to-head challenge with world No 2 Suzann Pettersen, reversing the result from 12 months ago when the Norwegian won by a stroke.
The great rivals started the final round tied at 18-under-par – four clear of their nearest challenger – but Park led all the way after the opening hole and carded a six-under 67 to finish on 24-under for the tournament.
Everything seems to be working quite well for me, from ball striking to puttingPark In-beePettersen returned a 72 for second place on 19-under with world No 5 Ryu So-yeon (69) third at 16-under on a damp and drizzly day that made scoring more difficult after three days of sunshine.
Park’s only moment of concern came mid-round when Pettersen birdied No 9 and Park bogeyed the 10th, cutting her three-shot lead to one, but the Korean birdied the next two holes to restore control.
Further birdies on the par-3 15th and par-5 last on Mission Hills’ signature par-73 Blackstone Course brought her the final winning margin.
“Today was obviously the toughest day out there because of the weather,” said Park.
“Everything seems to be working quite well for me, from ball striking to putting. Everything was great today, so I’m just happy to be here and win my first tournament of this year,” she said.
“Last year, I was leading going into the final round and I lost to Suzann. I knew that I left something out there last year so coming back this year I definitely wanted to win and that’s what I just did.
“I had good memories from last year and better memories from this year, so I’m happy to be here. It has been a fantastic tournament.”
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