5 Things: Pettersen adds 2nd major, winning Evian
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Sunday's third and final round of the Evian Championship quickly turned into a two-player battle between LPGA veteran Suzann Pettersen and upstart 16-year-old amateur Lydia Ko, who started the day tied for second.
Ko pulled ahead on the first hole, but Pettersen took advantage of a two-shot swing on the second hole and never trailed again – shooting 68 to finish 10 under and adding her second major championship.
PHOTOS: Evian Championship 2013, final round Sunday
Check out some of the emotion and the action during Sunday's final round of the rain-shortened 2013 Evian Championship, the LPGA's fifth major, where Suzann Pettersen earned her second career major title.
Here are 5 Things to Know about the 2013 Evian Championship.
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1. PETTERSEN'S PRIME: Suzann Pettersen, who won the 2007 LPGA Championship, had anticipated surprises this week in Evian-les-Bains, France – but there's little reason to consider her win among them.
With more than $1 million in LPGA earnings and two wins already under her belt this season, not to mention a solid performance at the Solheim Cup for the winning European team, Pettersen's win in the Tour's newest major merely cements a strong year. Especially late.
"It's been such a great month, five weeks for me, starting off with the Solheim – I mean, the feelings during the Solheim never really gets old," Pettersen said. "We had a fantastic team.
"It was kind of a great kick start for what became probably the month of my career, I would probably say so. I played fantastic the following week where Lydia won. Then I won in Portland right around the corner from Nike."
A second career major is a logical step toward Pettersen's goal of reaching No. 1 in the world rankings.
"With that in mind, this feels pretty natural – if that's where I want to go, I got to get used to the feel of winning tournaments and delivering under pressure," Pettersen said. "That's what I practice for. That's why I wake up every morning.
"I think hopefully this can kick start my action towards No. 1."
Pettersen talked a couple of times during the week about being more relaxed – Sunday she discussed it being a factor in the week's win.
"Well, a lot of people have tried to tell me this for years. I guess you can only take action when you first realize and you kind of – I don't know. It's a maturing process, I think," she said. "I'm just in a very good, happy spot in life right now. I have nothing to worry about. Everyone around me is very supportive. My family is all great.
"I must say, I feel like I've come to this age where I'm too old to be around and not be happy. I know you guys don't see me smile that much, but you've probably seen a few more smiles than in the past. I'm working on it."
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2. KO'S CLOSE: Sixteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko shot 70 and finished solo second, two shots back.
"The next time you see me I may be a pro," Ko said without offering specifics. "I would have no idea (exactly when). Definitely next year."
Rounds of 68-67-70 showed a consistency from the New Zealander that many would envy at any age.
After Saturday's second round, Ko was perhaps prescient when she said she hit an unusually good number of tight approach shots.
"I was pretty happy with my round today. Like yesterday I gave myself a lot of the chances to make birdies, so I hit it much closer to the pins. I probably did half of that today," Ko said. "So I don't expect myself to make everything, but it was really good to know that I could come so close to the winner at a major. Second is my best finish at a major tournament."
Pettersen noticed plenty to like about Ko's game.
"She just doesn't fade away," Pettersen said. "She doesn't take par for par. Just how she tees it off today. And her birdie on No. 1, it's probably the toughest pin out there and she makes to look is easy. At the same time, it's good for us to get young players like her into this game, because it keeps the rest of us working even harder and pushing the limits, pushing the boundaries."
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3. MIXED BAG FOR OTHER CHAMPS: Reigning British Open champion Stacy Lewis closed with a 73 to finish 4 under, T-6 alongside Chella Choi and Angela Stanford.
Lewis couldn't capitalize on a 69-67 start to the tournament. Her biggest trouble Sunday was a double bogey at the par-3 eighth hole, with three birdies offsetting three bogeys otherwise.
Inbee Park, who won the year's first three majors, shot 76 to finish T-67 at 8 over – well out of contention, much like the Open Championship.
Park struggled with an opening-round 74, then steadied herself with an even-par second round. But four bogeys on the front nine hurt her cause and she finished with a bogey and double bogey at Nos. 17-18.
PHOTOS: Evian Championship 2013, second round Saturday
Check out the action and emotion from Saturday's second round of the rain-shortened 2013 Evian Championship, the LPGA's fifth major.
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4. MIYAZATO SLIPS: Mika Miyazato, who led the first two rounds in seeking her first major victory, finished T-19 at even par after an 8-over 79 in the final round.
Bogeys at Nos. 1, 3 and 5, a triple bogey at No. 7 effectively took the 2012 Safeway Classic winner out of contention.
She picked herself up with a pair of birdies as she made the turn at Nos. 9-10, but made two bogeys and a double bogey down the closing stretch.
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5. SHORT SHOTS: The award ceremony included a parachute jumper bringing Pettersen a Norwegian flag. "I was caught a bit off guard when they started playing the national anthem." . . . Lexi Thompson third another two shots back at 6 under. Se Ri Pak and So Yeon Ryu finished T-4, another shot back. . . . Hee Young Park had the day's best round, shooting 67 to finish T-19.