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Pettersen wins playoff in South Korea



Incheon, South Korea (Sports Network) - Suzann Pettersen struggled in the final round Sunday, but erased any earlier mistakes with a birdie on the third playoff hole to win the LPGA KEB - HanaBank Championship.

Pettersen stumbled to a closing 2-over 74. She joined Catriona Matthew at 11- under-par 205. Matthew fired a 5-under 67 to get in first at minus-11.

The duo played the par-5 18th all three times in the extra session. The 4-time Solheim Cup teammates parred the 18th the first two trips through.

Pettersen converted a birdie effort on the third extra hole to beat Matthew and win for the ninth time on the LPGA Tour. This was the second time Pettersen won this title, as she also earned the crown in 2007.

"I just felt like I was actually glad I had a chance to go out there in the playoff. Again, I just felt great," Pettersen said. "I had a great warm-up this morning and didn't really get off to a great start and didn't really play the par-3s good at all. I felt like I had it all in my hands both the first time around, second time around, and the third around."

World No. 1 and last year's winner Yani Tseng closed with a 3-under 69 to grab third place on the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club. She finished alone at minus-10. This was Tseng's best finish since she ended third at the year's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Se Ri Pak posted a 2-under 70 to grab fourth at 9-under-par 207. Sandra Gal (71) and Lexi Thompson (70) shared fifth at minus-8.

Matthew birdied the 14th to move to 12-under, where she was two strokes clear of the field. Pettersen also birdied No. 14 to cut her deficit to one. Matthew tripped to a bogey on the 16th to create a tie atop the leaderboard.

Matthew parred her final two holes to get in first at minus-11. Pettersen parred the last four holes to get into the playoff, where she won on the third extra hole.

Pettersen, who led by five to start the day, stumbled to a double-bogey on the third. She came right back with a birdie on No. 4 to push her lead back to four.

The 31-year-old Norwegian gave another stroke back when she bogeyed the eighth to cut her lead to two as Matthew was making a charge.

"After I bogeyed eight, I looked at my caddie, I said, if I am going to bogey, I might as well just fire right at the pin," Pettersen stated. "There's no point playing safe. He said, why don't you just play as aggressive as you have all week. What are you trying to do? So I might have gone out trying to be a little bit protective, which obviously does not fit my game at all."

Matthew birdied three of the first seven holes to get to minus-9. After a birdie on 10, back-to-back birdies from the 13th gave Matthew a 2-shot lead.

Prior to that, Pettersen briefly regained a 2-stroke lead as she birdied the 10th. She stumbled to another double-bogey on the 13th to fall to minus-10, where she fell two behind Matthew.

Matthew's bogey at 16, paired Pettersen's birdie there forced the playoff.

NOTES: Pettersen, who earned $270,000 for the win, won for the ninth time on the LPGA Tour...Mi Hyun Kim closed with a 6-over 78 in her final LPGA Tour event to end tied for 61st. Kim announced her retirement earlier in the week...The LPGA Tour heads to Taiwan next week for the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, where Tseng won by five strokes in her homeland last year.

10/21 08:26:23 ET


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