Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club – East Course
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
October 16, 2011
Final-round notes and interviews
Na Yeon Choi -15 Rolex Rankings No. 4
Yani Tseng -14, Rolex Ranking No. 1
Rolex Rankings No. 4 Na Yeon Choi captured her first victory of the 2011 season at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Choi shot a final-round 68 and held off a Sunday charge from Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng to capture her fifth career LPGA Tour victory.
Choi led by one stroke over Brittany Lang after three rounds of play and got off to a slow start on Sunday with a double-bogey on the second hole. But things starting turning around for Choi with birdies on No. 6 and 8 and two more birdies on the back nine moved her right back at the top of the leaderboard and began what was a tight match at the end with Tseng, who had six birdies and one bogey over her first 15 holes.
For the second straight week, the tournament title came down to the two good friends as Choi and Tseng were tied at 14-under-par with two holes to play. After Tseng missed a birdie opportunity on No. 17, Choi hit her tee shot to about five feet for birdie. She sank the putt and took a one-shot lead into the final hole where she made par to complete her win.
“I wasn’t nervous when I started today but starting getting nervous on 15 when I hear that Yani got birdie, birdie,” Choi said. “So I was nervous, like from 15, 16, 17, 18 I was so nervous, but I had a great result. So it feels amazing.”
With her victory, Choi has now tallied 10 top-10 finishes so far this year. Two of those have been runner-up finishes, which included last week at the HanaBank LPGA Championship where she fell just shy of capturing her third straight title at the event.
Centennial victory: Choi’s victory was also special in that it was the 100th victory by a player of Korean descent on the LPGA Tour. While the contingent of Korean players has been very strong over the past decade, this is actually is the first win by a Korean LPGA Tour member this year. So Yeon Ryu won the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open but she did so as a non-member. Ryu currently plays on the KLPGA Tour.
“I won my fifth tournament and a hundred times for all of the Korean players,” Choi said when asked about her victory. “So it’s very nice. Icing on the cake [laughs]”
Tseng-sational: Despite falling just a little short of capturing her seventh LPGA Tour of the season, Tseng continued to add accolades to what has already been a dominating performance in 2011.
With her runner-up finish at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, the 22-year-old now has 12 top-10 finishes this year. She leads the Tour with six victories and has nine victories worldwide in 2011. But the thing that Tseng was most proud of on Sunday was her ability to come from four shots back to be in contention right at the end again.
“Today before I’m going to play, I tell myself, just shoot 6-under and finish 14‑under,” Tseng said. “So this is my goal today, and I achieved my goal and didn’t win. That’s all that happened. I do my best and then I played my best today.
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