PATTAYA -Anna Nordqvist of Sweden has ended a five-year victory drought when she beat defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea by two strokes to win the LPGA Thailand at the Siam County Club Pattaya Old Course on Sunday.
Nordqvist, who held the lead for the last three days, shot a final-round 68 for 15-under 273, to edge Inbee, who carded a final round 66 for an aggregate 13-under 275.
The victory was her third LPGA title after winning the LPGA Championship and the LPGA Tour Championship in 2009.
“It’s been a while, but I’m just so happy to finally break through again,” Nordqvist said. “Inbee kept pushing me at the end. I just really had to stay strong. Had a rough first couple holes, but kept playing good on the back. Just unbelievable to get that win again,” she said Nordqvist, whose form dipped dramatically in 2013, gave much of the credit for keeping her going to new coach Jorje Parada of Spain.
“I have to thank my family and friends and coach (Jorje Parada) for keeping pushing me through the good and bad times. They really inspired me and believed in me no matter what. And here I am sitting here with the trophy,” said Nordqvist.
Catriona Matthew of Scotland shot a second straight 65 to finish third on 277. American Michelle Wie, who was tied second after three rounds, shot three birdies plus an eagle on the 10th against two bogeys for a final-round 69 and fourth place another shot back.
Lydia Ko of New Zealand was one of only a handful of golfers not to score well in the final round of the latest LPGA Tour event, in Thailand, but the teenage Kiwi still finished in the top-20.
Ko, 16, started the final round of the LPGA Thailand event in Pattaya in a tie for fifth and while most of the field scored well, Ko just tread water and was the only player in the top-20 not to shoot under par.
She made a pair of bogeys and a pair of birdies on the front nine, and played the back nine two-over par to shot 74 and finish the 72-hole, 70-woman tournament at three-under.
When the world No 4 finished her round, she was in a tie for 19th.
Ko’s not playing poorly by any stretch, she’s just not dominating and this field does include each of the world’s top-10 players.
And in four tournaments this year Ko’s been near the leaders and still hasn’t had a poor tournament as a professional.
Former champion Tseng Yani, with a 68, was joint fifth along with the American trio of Gerina Piller, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Paraguayan Julieta Granada, who all finished on 279.