Chicago - Reigning US Women's Open champion Park Sung-hyun
of South Korea chipped in for birdie on the final hole Sunday to edge
fast-closing Lindy Duncan and win the storm-shortened LPGA Texas Classic.
Park fired a five-under par 66 to finish the 36-hole event
at 11-under 131 at Old American Golf Club near Dallas for a one-stroke victory
over American Duncan with Chinese rookie Liu Yu another shot adrift in third on
Park's pitching wedge chip-in at the 18th hole provided her
margin of victory over Duncan, who closed with three birdies in a row after
Park was in the clubhouse, and Liu, who like Duncan had a career-best LPGA
"I knew it was a pretty important shot," Park said
through a translator. "That shot was a difficult situation for me but I'm
glad I made it."
It was the third LPGA title for Park, who captured her first
major crown last July in the Open at Trump National and added the Canadian
Women's Open six weeks later.
Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn and South Korea Kim Sei-young
shared fourth with South Korean Jenny Shin and India's Aditi Ashok on 135.
Storms that wiped out almost all play on Thursday and Friday
forced organizers to trim the event to 36 holes, with the final round starting on
Ashok, seeking her first LPGA title, birdied the par-5 15th
on a five-foot putt and closed with three pars. The 20-year-old Olympian from
Bangalore, three times a winner on the Ladies European Tour, completed a 66 to
grab the early clubhouse lead.
"I'm happy," Ashok said. "I came back one
better than I left so that's good."
But 18-hole co-leader Park had yet to start her final round
after opening on 65 and made her charge in the afternoon.
Park opened with a bogey but eagled the par-5 fifth and
followed with birdies at the sixth, eighth and ninth before a bogey-birdie
start to the back nine left her ahead by three with seven holes remaining.
After six pars, Park was off the green with her approach at
18 but punched a bouncing pitching wedge shot up the green and into the hole
for a closing birdie that all-but sealed the title.
Duncan, finishing on the front nine, fired a 64 that
included a costly lip-out tap-in for par to bogey the sixth. She closed with
three consecutive birdies but was one shot shy of Park, settling for a
career-best runner-up finish.
"It sure did feel like a back-nine Sunday
atmosphere," Duncan said. "It was a great day. A crazy week but it
was a great tournament."
Liu eagled the eighth, her penultimate hole, but like Duncan
couldn't make an unlikely hole-out from the fairway to match Park.
"This was a great confidence booster for myself to know
I can contend out here," Liu said. "I was mentally strong, focused on
one shot at a time, and it really worked out."
Leading scores after Sunday's completion of the final round of the storm-hit 36-hole LPGA Texas Classic (par-71, USA unless noted):
131 - Park Sung-hyun (KOR) 65-66
132 - Lindy Duncan 68-64
133 - Liu Yu (CHN) 67-66
134 - Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 68-66, Kim Sei-young (KOR) 67-67
135 - Aditi Ashok (IND) 69-66, Jenny Shin (KOR) 65-70
136 - Lydia Ko (NZL) 69-67, Jackie Stoelting 69-67, Ko Jin-young (KOR) 67-69, Lee Mi-hyang (KOR) 70-66
137 - Mo Martin 67-70, Chun In-gee (KOR) 67-70, Nicole Broch Larsen (DEN) 67-70, Brittany Lincicome 71-66, Jacqui Concolino 70-67, Celine Boutier (FRA) 70-67, Jane Park 67-70
138 - Benyapa Niphatsophon (THA) 70-68, Gaby Lopez (MEX) 68-70, Minjee Lee (AUS) 68-70, Katie Burnett 67-71
139 - Brooke Henderson (CAN) 71-68, Katherine Kirk (AUS) 70-69, Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) 66-73, Candie Kung (TPE) 73-66, Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 71-68, Paula Creamer 69-70, Emily Pedersen (DEN) 69-70, Ally McDonald 70-69, Ayako Uehara (JPN) 70-69