|Suzann Pettersen, winner of the Mission Hills World Ladies Championship Individual Strokeplay competition|
World No.8 Suzann Pettersen of Norway came from two shots behind Korea’s Inbee Park to claim a one stroke victory at the Mission Hills World Ladies Championship in China.
Pettersen fired a bogey-free six under 66 on the Sandbelt Trails Course on a hot and sunny final day at Mission Hills Haikou in tropical Hainan, southern China.
The 31-year-old from Oslo finished a shot clear of Park with a 72-hole total of 18 under par.
“I felt like there was a 64 out there today and I got off to a good start. My goal was to get it to 20 under par. I said if I get beat at 20, I can live with it. I know Inbee is in there and if she just gets one look at a putt, it’s in, so I had to bring my best and the putter was hot today,” Pettersen said. “I’m very happy with how the game is and I’m just very happy to see the work that the China Golf Association does with the kids and how they grow the game.”
Pettersen saved her best golf of the week until the final day and she said: “I knew it would take the best to get this trophy but I was really keen on winning this tournament and it sets me up for a good start for this new year.”
Park fell behind early in the round and rallied with four birdies in five holes around the turn, however the 24-year-old World No.4 from Seoul stalled with a bogey on 15 which gave Pettersen a two stroke advantage.
Although Park birdied the par-5 18th, after hitting her second shot into a bunker short of the green, she couldn’t close the gap.
Pettersen chipped from the side of the 18th green and took two putts to claim her 16th worldwide tournament victory and her sixth Ladies European Tour title.
She added: “I’ve been really enjoying myself here and I feel comfortable. I like coming back and playing on the European Tour.”
|Team Strokeplay Event Winners Ha-Neul Kim and Inbee Park|
The Korean pair of Park and Ha-Neul Kim won the team event running concurrently, with a five stroke victory over Norway, followed by Thailand five shots further behind.
Park said: “I don’t really worry about the team competition because we had a big lead for the last three days. I think we are pretty comfortable for the team event. So I just focus on the game as an individual today because I wanted to win this tournament. I didn’t play great today but Suzann played great so she did it. I am happy that we won as a team. It was a great experience.”
The 2012 event champion Shanshan Feng finished third on 11 under par and was the leading Chinese player. World No.5 Feng said: “I think I played pretty well today. I had four birdies in the first eight holes, even though I was kind of having a little too much thinking in my head, so I didn’t make birdie on seven or eight, but I made two birdies in the last three, so I’m really happy about today’s play and I would say 11 under is not a bad score.”
Her younger namesake Simin Feng, aged 17, took the leading amateur prize, ending in a share of 35th place at three over and one stroke clear of nearest rival Michelle Cheung.
|Leading amateur Simin Feng|
Meanwhile, Ha-Neul Kim took another honour by being voted the best dressed player on course as voted for by the public, with an incredible 1,016,191 votes cast in her favour during the tournament. She beats last year’s winner Danielle Montgomery of England into second place, who garnered an equally impressive 902,672 votes. The annual competition was launched on Wednesday evening at the official Opening Ceremony which saw the players trade golf gear for cocktail dresses and has steadily grown as voters from China and around the world have had their say on the outfits spotted on course.
Speaking of the accolade, the striking South Korean, dressed in blue and white to match team-mate Park on Sunday, said: “I like to dress pretty on the course and then I can focus on the game.”