Na Yeon Choi wins for 2nd time

Na Yeon Choi wins for 2nd time

Posted in the Mesa Forum

Since: Oct 12

Phoenix, AZ

#1 Dec 20, 2012
Choi captured her first major this summer at the U.S. Women's Open, the biggest purse of the year. She turned a great season into her best one yet Sunday by winning the Titleholders and a $500,000 check, the second-biggest prize on tour.

For someone who has an appointment Monday in Orlando to buy a new house, the timing couldn't have been better.

She earned it at The Twin Eagles Club in the final LPGA Tour event of the year by following good advice from her caddie on how to play the short par-4 16th with the discount golf clubs, and delivering an exquisite shot with a 52-degree wedge to a deep, three-tiered green for a birdie that sent Choi on her way.

She closed with two pars for a 2-under 70 and a two-shot victory over So Yeon Ryu.

Ryu, honored this week as the LPGA Rookie of the Year, hit 3-wood into about 25 feet for a two-putt birdie on the 13th to tie for the lead. But on the next hole, she didn't account for the wind making her 30-foot birdie putt faster than it looked. The putt went some 6 feet by the hole, and a three-putt bogey cost her share of the lead. She never caught up the rest of the way.

Choi took it from there and seized control on the 16th, which can be reached off the tee with a big drive for her taylormade rocketballz irons. Her caddie, Jason Hamilton, didn't think it was worth the risk. Anything short leaves an awkward pitch, which is what Ryu ended up facing. Anything too close to the green and to the left leaves a blind pitch to the back of the three-tiered green, and par becomes a good score.

Choi hit 3-wood to the left side of the fairway and a 52-degree wedge to a tiny spot on an elevated green she couldn't see.

"Left side of the fairway is a better angle to the second shot," Choi said. "I think the pin was at 79 yards, but I just landed it almost at the pin. I tried to land it almost to the pin. There's not a lot of room."

Inbee Park was never in the hunt, though she still felt plenty of pressure in the final LPGA Tour event of the year. She needed to make sure she didn't stumble in the final round to capture the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average, and she handled that with ease. Park had a 70, while Stacy Lewis had a 74 with her taylormade burner 2.0 irons.

Lewis is the first American since 1994 to be LPGA Player of the Year. Park took the Vare Trophy and money title, the only woman to earn more than $2 million this year.

Sunday, however, belonged to Choi.

"I'm really happy with how I played this season," Choi said. "I won my first major and even this tournament is very big for me. I think I can have even bigger expectations now and think I deserve it."

More information: http://www.golfcomboset.com/

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