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Lewis Gets Seventh Career Title
Though it wasn't easy, Stacy Lewis managed to overcome a two-bogey back nine and still win the HSBC Women's Champions. The $1.4 million LPGA Tour event took place on the 6,600-yard Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.
Lewis, the 2012 LPGA Player of the year, closed with a 1-under 71 to edge South Korean and fellow 54-hole leader Na Yeon Choi, who carded a 72. Lewis's total of 15-under 273 was a shot ahead of Choi and two in front of Paula Creamer (71).
The victory - coming off a four-win season - was Lewis's first of the year and the seventh in her career. It was worth $210,000.
Neither Choi - who carded two birdies and a pair of bogeys Sunday - nor Lewis made the final round a runaway. After going out in 3-under 33 off two birdies, an eagle on the par-5 seventh and a lone bogey, Lewis took command. But, after carding five straight pars to start the home half, the 28-year-old bogeyed two of the final four holes for a 2-over 38. It was just barely enough.
Lewis later admitted the pressure got to her on the back nine. "The last four or five holes, I was pretty nervous, I'm not going to lie," she told reporters. "I just played hard and put my head down and tried to make as many putts as I could and fortunately I came away with the win."
It was Choi's second straight disappointment in Singapore; last year she lost to Angela Stanford in a four-way playoff. "I tried to do my best until the last hole," Choi said. "Last year, I finished runner-up, too. I went into the playoff and lost. I really wanted to win this week."
For Creamer to even make it through 72 holes was an accomplishment. Last weekend while driving to the airport in Thailand with caddie, Colin Cann, and fellow golfers Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen, her vehicle was involved in a five-car accident. All of the passengers were hurt, with Miyazato's injuries forcing her to withdraw prior to the start of the Singapore tournament.
"This is much more than what I even bargained for. Didn't even know if I was going to tee it up and taking a third after what Colin and I have been through, it's pretty good," said Creamer, who earned $97,292. Pettersen shot rounds of 73, 70, 72 and 74.
Alone in fourth place at 10-under 278 was Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn (71), while sharing fifth another shot back were South Korean Candie Kung (70) and Americans Jessica Korda (71) and Danielle Kang (72). Lexi Thompson (70) and South Korea's Chella Choi (71) took eighth at 280.
After opening with rounds of 68 and 73 in the no-cut event, No. 1-ranked Yani Tseng shot 71 and 74 over the weekend to fall into a tie for 28th at 2-under 286.
"I didn't hit the ball very well this week, but it's OK. You know you always have next year to come back here," Tseng said cryptically. "World No. 1, I know it's good and people like it, but I want to care about myself more and I just want to enjoy (my golf). If I lose (it), I'll get back one day, too."
Michelle Wie also had a spotty tournament, posting rounds of 71, 75, 77 and 69 for a 292 total. Stanford ended up near the bottom of the leaderboard at 10-over 298.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.