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Park Takes LPGA Malaysia
Inbee Park caught and passed 54-hole leader and defending champion Na Yeon Choi, depriving her fellow South Korean a wire-to-wire victory in the $1.9 million Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
Park closed with a 4-under 67 to finish at 15-under 269, two strokes ahead of Choi, who carded a 71. The victory, the third of Park's career and second this year, was worth $285,000. Choi settled for $179,747.
Park, who began the day two shots behind the leader, separated herself from the field on Sunday thanks to six birdies in her first 14 holes in the no-cut tournament. She got away with bogeys on the final two holes as Choi double-bogeyed the par-3 17th.
"I'm very happy to win," Park said. "I played for the second time here, and it's the first time I've won twice in one year, so I'm really proud of myself for that."
Ending up three strokes back was Australian Karrie Webb, who closed with a 68. Scotland's Catriona Matthew took solo fourth at 273 thanks to a 67, while Korean So Yeon Ryu (66) was alone in fifth at 10-under 274. Aussie Lindsey Wright (67) and American Paula Creamer (69) shared sixth at 275.
Park has been on quite a roll. Following her win in the Evian Masters in July, the 24-year-old has recorded six consecutive top-three finishes. She's also placed in the top-10 in 10 straight starts, including a T-2 in the Safeway Classic and a runner-up at both the Canadian Women's and Women's British opens.
"I think my golf has improved, everything, hitting the ball, chipping, putting. Everything has really improved," said Park, whose first title was a major - the 2008 U.S. Women's Open. "I worked really hard on my swing. I've been hitting it very solid all year. So, that gave me a lot more birdie chances."
After starting the year with three quick victories, No. 1-ranked Yani Tseng has seen her struggles continue. The Taiwanese player posted rounds of 78, 72, 68 and 71 to finish at 5-over 289 and a tie for 49th. No. 2-ranked Stacy Lewis closed with a 68 to take a share of 19th at 280.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx.