Yani Tseng wins her 13th LPGA Tour title

Taiwanese star holds off friend for 13th victory

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CHONBURI, Thailand — Yani Tseng watched Ai Miyazato’s approach on the 18th hole of the LPGA Thailand and knew she had to come up with an equally impressive shot to avoid a possible playoff.

Yani Tseng birdied the final two holes for 6-under 66 to win the LPGA Thailand golf championship by a shot over Ai Miyazato in Pattaya, Chonburi province on Sunday.  APICHART WEERAWONG/ASSOCIATED PRESS
APICHART WEERAWONG/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Yani Tseng birdied the final two holes for 6-under 66 to win the LPGA Thailand golf championship by a shot over Ai Miyazato in Pattaya, Chonburi province on Sunday.

Tseng met the challenge with a shot fitting her No. 1 ranking, controlling the spin perfectly to set up a tap-in putt.

“It was an incredible shot. I think it’s the shot of the week,” Tseng said Sunday. “Especially, I saw that Ai hit it so close and I knew she was going to make that putt. So, I tell myself, ‘I need to get this close.’ ”

The 23-year-old Taiwanese star successfully defended her title for her 13th LPGA Tour victory, matching Miyazato with birdies on the final two holes to hold off her Japanese friend by a stroke.

Tseng closed with 6-under -par 66 to finish at 19-under 269 on the Pattaya Old Course at Siam Country Club. She opened with a 73, then shot consecutive 65s to enter the final round a shot behind Miyazato.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: In Naples, Fla., Kenny Perry had such a big lead in the ACE Group Classic that his goal was to finish at 20 under par in the 54-hole event.

He did it on the number, shooting 2-under 70 to win by five shots.

“I really wanted that putt,” said Perry, who made a bogey putt on the final hole and won his second Champions Tour title.

“I really wanted to shoot 20-under. I didn’t want to fall back to 19 like I did at Colonial one year. I had a seven-stroke lead coming in and I doubled and I went from 21 to 19. I said, ‘I ain’t doing that this week.’ So, I was able to get that putt in. Ecstatic. It’s a great win for me.”

After opening with rounds of 64 and 62 to break the tour’s 36-hole record at 18-under 126,

Perry beat 2011 winner Bernard Langer by five strokes at The TwinEagles Club’s Talon Course.

Perry, a 14-time winner on the PGA Tour, birdied three of his first eight holes, and no one ever got closer than four shots after that.

Langer eagled No. 17 for the third consecutive day in his 70.

“It was a good week,” Langer said. “I played well, it’s just that Perry ran off with it. He put up a fantastic score (Saturday) and played well again.”

After two calm days resulted in low scores, the wind blew 20 mph with gusts near 30 mph Sunday.

Tom Lehman shot 72 to match Bill Glasson (68) and Mike Goodes (69) at 14-under.

Lehman was in second for most of the day, but bogeyed No. 12 and bogeyed the par-5 17th after hitting a pitch shot in the water.

First-round leader Larry Mize was tied for second on the last hole, but put the Augusta native two balls in the water and finished with 75 to drop to seventh at 12- under.

“Much tougher day with the wind,” Mize said. “We had two ideal days to play and today was a tough day.”

Perry tied former Augusta resident Allen Doyle’s 1999 tournament mark for the largest margin of victory.

Perry had 24 birdies, two short of the tour record for a 54-hole event. The bogey on the final hole dropped Perry into a tie with Langer for the tournament scoring record that Langer set last year at The Quarry.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In New Delhi, Jbe Kruger of South Africa won his first European Tour title, protecting his overnight lead by shooting 3-under-par 69 for a two-shot victory at the Avantha Masters.

The 25-year-old Kruger made four birdies and overcame a bogey on the 17th to finish 14-under 274.

Jorge Campillo of Spain and Marcel Siem of Germany were two shots back in a tie for second.

Jose Manuel Lara of Spain and Australian Marcus Fraser finished joint fourth at 11-under.

Kruger finished second on the Asian Tour three times in 2010, while his best previous result on the European Tour was third at the Africa Open the same year.

His best on this year’s European Tour has been ninth at the Joburg Open in South Africa.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: In Bogota, Columbia, Skip Kendall rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win the season-opening Colombia Championship by a shot.

Kendall, who is 47, closed with even-par 71 at the Country Club of Bogota for his third career title.

He finished at 10-under 274. Andrew Svoboda (72 on Sunday) and Andres Gonzales (68) tied for second place.

Augusta’s Scott Parel closed with 70 to tie for 38th place.

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