Munoz beats Kung to win Sybase Match Play|
Gladstone, NJ (Sports Network) - Azahara Munoz held off Candie Kung 2 & 1 on
Sunday to win the Sybase Match Play Championship.
The win was the first on the LPGA Tour for Munoz, but it wasn't without
In the semifinals, Munoz missed a par putt on the 12th to seemingly fall 3-
down to Morgan Pressel. However, on the 13th tee, Pressel was told she had
taken too much time after being warned for slow play, and the result was loss
Instead of being 3-up, Pressel was just 1-up. Pressel later told rules
officials that she thought Munoz grounded her putter in her putting line on
the 15th green.
Officials reviewed the action and found it to be inconclusive. Munoz won three
holes in a row from the 15th to hand Pressel a 2 & 1 defeat after no penalty
Afterwards, there seemed to be no hard feeling between the players as they
shared a hug on the range prior to the final matches, and Pressel also went
out to congratulate Munoz when she won the final match as well.
"She's such a good friend. As I told you, everything is going to be fine.
She's such a good person and a good friend of mine, so I'm happy she was here
and it really meant a lot," Munoz said of Pressel in a greenside interview
after winning the final match.
Kung beat Vicky Hurst by a similar 2 & 1 margin to reach the final.
Munoz and Kung traded wins on the first two holes. Kung made par on No. 7 to
grab a 1-up lead. However, she stumbled to a bogey on the ninth to fall back
Around the turn, Munoz birdied the par-five 11th from three feet out to grab
the lead. She rolled in a three-foot par putt on the next hole to go 2-up as
Kung stumbled to a bogey.
Munoz faltered to a bogey on 14 to cut her lead to 1-up. At the par-three
16th, Kung's tee shot bounced off a sprinkler head, then a cart path and into
She blasted across the green and her ball stopped against the collar of the
rough after hitting a camera. She hit a poor chip shot, then two-putted for
Munoz also missed the green with her tee shot. She chipped on then two-putted
for bogey to go 2-up with two to go.
At the 17th, Munoz two-putted for par from about 15 feet out. Kung had eight
feet for birdie to extend the match, but she missed the putt to the right.
Munoz claimed her first tour victory with four wins in an eight-hole stretch
on the back nine.
As long as the day was for the players, Munoz made it through with a heavy
heart. Her family pushed her to come to the event after the recent death of
"I'm so happy. I almost didn't come to this tournament, but I came for my
grandmom, I play for my grandmom so this is for her," Munoz said through tears
in a televised interview. "I didn't want to leave because they made me come,
but my parents, my sister and my brother told me that she wanted to be here,
and just to come and play for her."
Kung had never made it past the second round in her two previous appearances
at this event.
"It is a pretty long day. It's kind of blurry right now for me for the whole
round, but I'm glad that I pushed everything to the 17th hole," said Kung, who
beat world No. 1 Yani Tseng in the third round. "Unfortunately, I hit a couple
of bad shots out there, wasn't able to recover, and that kind of got me to
where I am."
Pressel beat Hurst 2 & 1 in the consolation match.
"I played well this afternoon. Vicky played great too. We had a very good
match," Pressel said in a TV interview. "It was a crazy day and I'm happy that
NOTES: Munoz earned $375,000 for the victory...All four players that competed
today posted their best finish in this event...Kung was denied her fifth LPGA
Tour win and first since the 2008 season...After a week off, the tour is back
in New Jersey for the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where Brittany Lincicome will
defend her title.
05/20 20:07:45 ET