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Tseng earns tough win at LPGA Founders Cup



Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - With three of the top 10 players in the world battling for the title, Mother Nature didn't want this fight to end.

After three weather delays that combined to last over three hours, world No. 1 Yani Tseng managed to win the LPGA Founders Cup in near darkness Sunday.

Tseng closed with a four-under 68 to win by one stroke at 18-under-par 270. It was her second victory of the season and 14th in her brief, but stellar, LPGA Tour career.

"In my mind, I felt like we were going to finish tomorrow, so we were really lucky to finish today," said Tseng. "Because of my eyes, I couldn't see much of a distance [the last few holes], so I tried to keep telling myself just finish these few holes, just hit a good shot and play one shot at a time."

World No. 2 Na Yeon Choi also carded a 68 on Sunday and tied for second place with world No. 9 Ai Miyazato, who managed a three-under 69 on the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

Tseng came out of the second and third weather stoppages with birdies Nos. 10 and 14 for her first lead of the day. After Tseng birdied the 14th, she came back with a birdie on 15, then parred the last three to hang on for the win.

"I'm proud of myself. I hung in there on the back nine," Tseng said. "I think the [second] break was good for me because I finished nine holes, was one-over and I had a birdie chance on No. 10, but then we have a break. So I took a little bit of time to relax a little bit and rethink, restart the day."

So Yeon Ryu, the reigning U.S. Women's Open champion, carded a four-under 68 to end alone in fourth at 13-under-par 275.

The Phoenix area hadn't had measurable rain in 105 days, but Sunday's weather included cool temperatures, rain, lightning and hail. It all led to a dramatic ending in near-darkness.

The leaders had to deal with weather delays when they were on Nos. 5, 10 and 14. As they returned to the course with sunlight fading, Tseng and Miyazato were one clear of Choi, who battled a sore back during the final round.

That changed at the 14th. Miyazato missed the green, but got up and down for par to remain at 16-under. Choi joined her there with a birdie, but Tseng also made birdie to pull one ahead of her playing partners at minus-17.

It was Tseng's first lead of the day, and it capped a stunning comeback as she was three back after eight holes.

Tseng made it two in a row with a birdie on the 15th to push her lead to two strokes. It was her fifth birdie in a six-hole span from the 10th and she held on for the win by parring the final three holes.

Choi birdied the 16th to get within one, but she could only par the final two holes. Miyazato also birdied 16 to join Choi at 17-under, but also did no better than par on the last two holes.

"It was definitely a long day, and I've never seen this weather in Phoenix before, but I will thank God we finished," Miyazato said. "I played really well today, but I didn't make some putts on the back nine, so that's why I think I finished second place, but I'm very happy."

Miyazato birdied the third and fifth to go one ahead of Tseng, who also birdied No. 3. Miyazato, who was No. 1 in the world three separate times in the 2010 season, tripped to a bogey on the sixth to fall to 15-under.

Choi went racing into the lead with three straight birdies from the fifth. However, she found water on No. 8 and that led to a double-bogey, which dropped her two behind Miyazato, who birdied the eighth.

Miyazato stayed at 16-under as she ran off seven straight pars from the ninth.

Tseng, who was three back as she bogeyed seven and eight, started her furious rally around the turn. She dropped in back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11 to get back to 15-under. Tseng joined Miyazato in the lead with a birdie on 13, then pulled in front with birdies on the next two holes after the third weather delay.

Choi came back from her disastrous double-bogey with a birdie on the 11th. She carded two more birdies after the third weather stoppage, but it was enough for her sixth tour title.

NOTES: Tseng earned $225,000 for the win. She tied Cristie Kerr on the all- time wins list with 14...Tseng became the fastest LPGA Tour player to reach the $8 million mark in career earnings do so in just over four years and 99 events. Lorena Ochoa held the previous mark and it took her three months and 16 events more than Tseng needed...The LPGA Tour heads to California next week for the Kia Classic, where Sandra Gal won by one shot last year.

03/18 23:48:12 ET


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