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Stanford Wins HSBC Women's Champions in Playoff
American Angela Stanford parred the third sudden-death playoff hole to win the HSBC Women's Champions. The 72-hole, $1.4 million LPGA Tour event took place at Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore.
Stanford, a 34-year-old from Texas, closed with a 1-under 71 in regulation to tie Shanshan Feng of China and South Koreans Na Yeon Choi and Jenny Shin at 10-under 278. The tournament then headed to the 18th, where it stayed for three more holes until the winner was determined.
On the first playoff hole, Feng bogeyed while the other three players parred and moved on. Choi was the next player to be eliminated after a bogey on 18, and the next time around Stanford got her third straight par on Tanah Merah's closer to Shin's bogey. This came after Stanford bogeyed the same hole in regulation to make it a four-way playoff.
"It's a big deal," said Stanford of the victory, which was worth $210,000 and her first since 2009. "I'm just thinking about home and everybody there."
On Sunday, Stanford had four birdies and three birdies. "I didn't think I'd be there at the end. I was all over the map today."
The final round was delayed 90 minutes due to lightning, which sent the players in the final groups scurrying to the clubhouse. When play resumed, Shin, who was 3-under on her round at the time after leaving the course following the 17th, hit her tee shot on 18 out-of-bounds and made a double-bogey to also fall to 10-under.
"I felt for her (Shin) because we've all been in that position," said Stanford.
The 19-year-old Shin admitted later she wasn't in the right frame of mind before returning to the course to play the 72nd hole. "The tee shot on the 18th hole really threw me off," she said. "The playoff wasn't that bad. I wasn't as nervous as I was on the 18th."
No. 1-ranked Yani Tseng began Sunday only three shots behind the 54-hole leaders, Katie Futcher, Stanford and Shin. But the seven-time winner in 2011 couldn't quite coax another under-par number on her scorecard, settling for a 2-under 69 and a 9-under 279 total, one stroke from making the playoff a five-way affair.
She started out great with five birdies on the front nine for a 5-under 31, but Tseng struggled coming home with a double on the 10th, a birdie and a bogey on the par-3 14th, with pars the rest of the way for a 2-over total on the inward half.
"I'm kind of upset," Tseng told reporters. "I feel disappointed because I didn't win this tournament. I was very close this year. I played great front nine, but hopefully next year I won't be disappointed."
Sharing sixth at 7-under 281 were Japan's Ai Miyazato (69) and South Korean I.K. Kim (70). Tied for eight another stroke back were American Vicky Hurst (69) along with South Koreans Hee Young Park (70) and Jiyai Shin (72).
Futcher, a six-year veteran seeking her first win on the LPGA Tour, closed with a disappointing 4-over 76 to end up sharing 11th at 5-under 283 with South Korean So Yeon Ryo (71).
Defending champion Karrie Webb closed with a 2-under 70 for a 1-under 287 total and a tie for 25th.
American Michelle Wie's poor tournament finally came to an end. The 22-year-old closed with a 3-over 75 - matching her lowest score of four (the others included a 79, 81 and 75) - to end up at plus-25 and next-to-last in the 63-player field. Only Singapore amateur Sock Hwee Koh, at 37-over 325, racked up more strokes in the 72-hole event than Wie.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/leaderboard.aspx?TournamentID=27855.
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