Inbee Park wins Thailand LPGA title in heartbreaking finish
Last Updated: 24/02/13 12:04pm
Inbee Park: Gifted victory at the Honda LPGA Thailand
Inbee Park made the most of a heart-breaking implosion by local teenage star Ariya Jutanugarn to win the Honda LPGA Thailand title.
The world No 4 put the pressure on the leaders with a final-round 67 but was still two shots behind as Jutanugarn came down the last hole.
However the 17-year-old carded a triple bogey to throw away the title, leaving the final green in tears as Park celebrated an unlikely success in the $1.5m tournament at the Siam Country Club.
Jutanugarn had a three-shot lead at the start of the final round but had been caught by the time she came to the par-three 12th, where she regained it in perfect style with a hole-in-one.
She added another birdie at the 13th and gave that shot back at 14, but all appeared to be fine until she reached the par-five closing hole.
Finding trouble all the way down the hole, Jutanugarn was left with a three-footer on the green to force a play-off with Park, but the putt lipped out and the tears started soon after.
"I was really disappointed because I went onto the course hoping to win not for myself but for the whole country. A lot of people came to support me and wanted to see me win. But I didn't make it. However, I was so happy that they still supported me even I didn't live up to their expectations," said Jutanugarn.
"I went for two shots on instead of three on the 18th hole. I was crazy to do that and I learned my lesson. I thought I would finish with a bogey at worst and win by a shot but I never imagined this,"
Park had put the pressure on early in her round with four birdies on the front-nine and further shots picked up at 10 and 11, with just one bogey on the 14th seeing her home at 12-under for the tournament.
"I don't know what to say... I'm still shocked," said Park. "Nobody expected this, but it's golf. She (Ariya) has played incredible golf over the last few days. I feel really bad for her to lose on the final hole... but it will be a big lesson to her."
Round of the day came from world No 1 Yani Tseng, who carded seven birdies and an eagle in a nine-under par 63, but that was only good enough for a tie for third place, two behind Park.
She was joined on 10-under by Spain's Beatriz Recari, So Yeon Ryu of Korea and American star Stacy Lewis - Catriona Matthew fared best of the British challenge back on five-under.