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Tuesday April 30, 2013

World No. 1 In-bee wins North Texas Shootout

IRVING (Texas): World No. 1 Park In-bee drained a birdie putt at the final hole on Sunday to win the inaugural North Texas Shootout, holding off Spain’s Carlota Ciganda by one stroke.

In-bee claimed the sixth LPGA title of her career and her third this year, a run of success that saw her rise to No. 1 in the world this month – one week after her Major victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The South Korean played steady golf, posting four birdies without a bogey, her four-under 67 at Las Colinas giving her a 13-under total of 271.

Ciganda, who kept the pressure on In-bee with her own birdie at 18, finished with a one-under 70 for 272.

“Today coming into the final round, I was two shots back, and I didn’t really think about winning so much,” In-bee said. “The front nine I was given a lot of birdie chances out there, and nothing seemed to be going in, so I was a little bit frustrated.”

Ciganda, the 2012 Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour, started the day with a two-stroke lead.

After a bogey at the second she settled down, posting birdies at the third, sixth, eighth and 10th to move to 14-under for the tournament – two strokes in front of In-bee as they dueled in the final group.

But the young Spaniard’s round came unstuck with a bogey at the 14th, followed by a double-bogey at 15 that let In-bee assume a one-shot lead.

At the par-four 14th, Ciganda drove behind a tree and her attempt to hit over saw her ball clip a branch.

At the 15th her ball bounced into the water on the right.

“I saw the ball bouncing on the green, so I thought that maybe it was there long,” Ciganda said of her approach into 15. “But when I was approaching the green, I could see that the wind was hard and the ball was in the water.

“So I just tried to make up on that, and I missed my putt, so then it was a six and that was it. I think that was the key hole because until that time I think I was winning by two and then by one.”

At the par-five 18th, In-bee was in the fairway and Ciganda just off the fairway with a testing shot through the trees to the green.

In-bee opted to go for the green and finished up just short, while Ciganda fired through the green.

Ciganda’s pitch left her a tough birdie putt, but she rattled it in to pull level, leaving In-bee, who chipped to about four feet, with a birdie putt to win.

The South Korean calmly rolled hers in, giving a little fist pump as the ball dropped.

“I was trying to be very patient and finally the last one dropped.”

Norway’s Suzann Pettersen carded a final-round 66 to claim third on 274.

South Koreans Park Hee-young and Ryu So-yeon shared fourth on 275, In-bee after a blazing seven-under 64 that included seven birdies with no bogeys and Ryu with a 68.

South Korean I.K. Kim finished alone in sixth after a 68 for 276. — AFP

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