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Choi secures Group Titleholders triumph



Naples, FL (Sports Network) - Na Yeon Choi fired a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to capture the season-ending Group Titleholders title.

Choi, who won her first major championship at the U.S. Women's Open earlier this year, entered Sunday's final round with a 1-stroke lead over Ai Miyazato. She was even during an up-and-down front nine before recording a pair of birdies on the back to finish at 14-under 274.

"I had a lot of confidence today," said Choi, who earned her seventh career LPGA Tour win. "I like this golf course."

Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year So Yeon Ryu placed second at 12-under after shooting 70. The first-round co-leader began the day three strokes off the pace, but managed to pull even thanks to Choi's early struggles.

The pair were tied entering the 14th hole, which Ryu bogeyed to fall a shot behind. Choi capitalized on the next hole when she rolled home a birdie putt to go two strokes up -- a lead she wouldn't relinquish.

Brittany Lincicome also shot 70 on Sunday to finish alone in third place at 11-under, Karrie Webb (69) took fourth at minus-10 and Miyazato stumbled to a 74 to take fifth at 9-under.

Miyazato, who fired a personal season-best 64 in the second round, entered Sunday in second place, but tripped to four bogeys in her first 10 holes and never fully recovered.

Inbee Park ended the weekend at 6-under -- good for an 11th-place tie. While she didn't get the win, she did manage to secure the Vare Trophy, which is presented for lowest scoring average, while also ending the season as the LPGA money list leader.

Stacy Lewis, who on Friday accepted the Rolex Player of the Year award, finished at even-par 288. She is the first American to receive the honor since Beth Daniel in 1994.

Defending champion Hee Young Park carded rounds of 76, 68, 75 and 73 to end at 4-over.

Choi stumbled earlier when she carded a six on the par-4 third, but she recovered with an eagle on the par-5 fifth. The inconsistencies continued when she went birdie/bogey on Nos. 7 and 8, respectively, but her outward nine proved steady enough to produce a win.

"I finished strong this season and I am really satisfied," Choi continued. "I'm really happy how I played this season. I won my first major tournament and even this tournament is big to me so I think I (deserve a good vacation)."

NOTES: With the $500,000 first-place check, Choi increased her season earnings to $1,981,834. She ended the season second on the LPGA money list ... The top-3 finishers in each official LPGA Tour event qualified for this event, which included the top-31 players on the money list and the top-13 players in the world rankings.

11/18 17:26:50 ET


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