Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Golf Roundup; Park Wins by a Stroke in Thailand

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Golf Roundup; Park Wins by a Stroke in Thailand

Article excerpt

Inbee Park took advantage of overnight leader Ariya Jutanugarn's triple bogey on the last hole Sunday to secure a one-stroke victory in the LPGA Thailand in Chonburi.

Jutanugarn blew a two-stroke lead on the 18th when she first had to take a drop and then missed a three-foot putt to force a playoff.

The 17-year-old Thai golfer, who had a hole-in-one earlier in the round, was moved to tears as the putt lipped out, while a surprised Park started celebrating in the clubhouse with her caddie.

"I just didn't' expect this kind of finish," said Park, adding that she sympathized with Jutanagarn.

"If I was in Ariya's situation, I would be very, very nervous and I don't think I would have handled the pressure until the last hole. I think she handled the pressure well today and this week. Just the last day, I just think it's going to happen. I think something like this happening is just experience under her belt. She's going to be a great player later on."

The fourth-ranked Park finished with a 67 for a 12-under 276 total, with Jutanugarn a shot back after a 72.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a final-round 63 to finish another stroke back and tied for third with Beatriz Recari of Spain (70) and So Yeon Ryu of South Korea (68).

Jutanugarn had fought back from a stroke behind Park by hitting a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th to regain the lead at 14 under.

But she then paid the price for playing too aggressively on the last hole.

"I went for two shots [to the green] instead of three on the 18th hole. I was crazy to do that, and I learned my lesson," she said.

FOLEY WINS ON FINAL HOLE Tour: Kevin Foley won the season-opening Panama Claro Championship in Panama City for his first tour title, holing a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Mathew Goggin.

Foley closed with a 3-under 67 to finish at 8-under 272. …

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