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Tseng defends title in playoff

Yani Tseng rallies with birdies on Nos. 14 and 16, then hits another birdie on the first playoff hole to cap her title defense.

Associated Press

Yani Tseng rallies with birdies on Nos. 14 and 16, then hits another birdie on the first playoff hole to cap her title defense.

ROGERS, Ark. — Top-ranked Yani Tseng successfully defended her title in the LPGA Tour's NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday, beating Amy Yang with a 4-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff.

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Yang missed a 6-foot birdie try before Tseng holed the winning putt on the par-5 18th.

"I almost cry because today, like in the middle of the round, I felt like, 'Oh, I'm going to lose today.' Because in my mind, I don't feel excitement. I don't make any birdie," Tseng said. "But I just telling myself, 'I need to get excited, need more focused, try to stretch, move around, just feel more.' Like the last three holes, I make some birdies, so that was very important for me."

During the awards ceremony on the 18th green, Tseng led the large crowd in a chant of "Woo Pig Sooie!" a chant usually heard at Razorbacks football and basketball games.

"This is great," Tseng said. "I mean, always have a good crowd here and the people are really nice, volunteers and so many great people around here. Very nice to be out here."

Tseng and Yang closed with 3-under 68s to finish at 12-under 201 on the Pinnacle Country Club course.

Yang, winless on the tour, parred the final 11 holes of regulation, holing a 4½-foot putt on the 18th to force the playoff.

Tseng bogeyed the par-4 13th to drop to 10 under, then rallied with birdies on the par-5 14th and par-4 16th, holing an 8-foot putt to tie Yang.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (69) finished tied for 10th at 7 under, her fifth top-10 finish this season. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse finished tied for 32nd at 2 under, and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson was tied for 38th at 1 under.

WALKER CUP: Britain & Ireland regained the title from the United States for the first time since 2003, holding off the Americans in the afternoon singles for a 14-12 victory in Aberdeen, Scotland.

LPGA FUTURES TOUR: Clearwater's Jenny Gleason earned full 2012 LPGA Tour membership by finishing in a tie for seventh at the Price Topper Tour Championship in Albany, N.Y. Gleason, 30, moved up from 11th to ninth on the season-ending money list, with the top 10 getting full LPGA Tour cards.

Tseng defends title in playoff 09/11/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 11, 2011 10:50pm]
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