Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Sports

Pettersen wins Evian Championship for second major title

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Suzann Pettersen barely had time to hug her caddie before the champagne started flowing in her direction.

In the first women's major played in Europe, Pettersen beat teenage star Lydia Ko of New Zealand by two shots to win the Evian Championship on Sunday and clinch the second major title of her career.

The Norwegian rolled in a par putt to seal the title. Pettersen then leaned back and held her head in her hands, hugged her caddie and laughed as she was surrounded by friends spraying her with the bubbly on the green.

"I might start to get a bit emotional," Pettersen said, her voice wavering, as she collected the trophy.

It was her first major since the LPGA Championship in 2007 and her second straight tournament win after the Safeway Classic this month.

Pettersen shot 3-under 68 to finish with 10-under 203 total after the tournament was reduced to three rounds when Thursday's play was rained out. Ko, 16, who was trying to become the youngest major champion, finished with 70.

American Lexi Thompson shot 68 to finish four shots back in third place. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (69) finished at 1-under 212 and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (71) at 4-over 217.

This was the first year that Evian counted as the fifth and final major of the season on the women's calendar.

"I don't know if it's quite sunk in yet that I've won another major. It's been a while, but I'm pretty lucky to say that I've won two," Pettersen said. "Hopefully, this is just the start. It's been such a great month, five weeks for me, starting off with the Solheim (Cup). It was a great kick-start for what became the best month of my career."

The third-ranked Pettersen plans to have "one heck of a party" to celebrate before focusing on her goal to earn the No. 1 ranking.

"This is part of the process, you have to win tournaments, you have to win majors," said Pettersen, 32, who in the past has been hampered by a fiery temperament. "I feel I've been a lot more relaxed around the golf course over the past year, smiling a lot more. … I've come to the age when I'm too old to be around and not be happy."

Top-ranked Inbee Park was looking to become the first golfer to win four majors in a year but finished way out of contention. Mika Miyazato of Japan held a one-shot lead going into the final round but struggled to 79 and finished tied for 19th.

That left Ko — at 16 years, 4 months, 22 days — as Pettersen's main challenger. But she bogeyed the 13th to fall two shots behind.

Ko will have to wait until next year for a chance to break American Morgan Pressel's record of youngest major winner. Pressel was 18 years, 10 months, 9 days when she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2007.

"I don't think I felt that nervous (Sunday), but coming down the last two holes I thought Suzann had it in the bag," Ko said. "It was really good to know that I could come close to a winner at a major. Hopefully, next year it will be a 72-hole event."

BMW delayed

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The final round of the BMW Championship was suspended because of rain that left too much water on Conway Farms. Jim Furyk had a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker. He was about three hours from teeing off when play was stopped by rain for 3½ hours. It resumed for an hour before more showers led to another stoppage.

Furyk, who had yet to tee off, was at 13-under 200. Brandt Snedeker was two shots back.

"The bad news — obviously, I'm anxious to get out there and play, as is everyone else," Furyk said. "But the good news is no one wants to go out and play in this and slop it around in bad weather on a golf course where we're playing the ball down and it's probably a little too wet out there."

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