Choi is US Open champ
South Korean holds nerve to claim first major title
Last Updated: July 8, 2012 11:26pm
Choi: Sprayed in victory champagne on the 18th green
South Korea's Choi Na-yeon overcame a back nine wobble to claim a convincing four-shot victory in the US Women's Open in Kohler, Wisconsin.
Six strokes clear overnight, it looked plain sailing for the 24-year-old Korean when she played the outward nine at Blackwolf Run in level par 36 to remain at eight-under par.
(US unless stated)
-7 NY Choi (Kor)
-3 A Yang (Kor)
+1 S Gal (Ger)
+2 I Lee (Kor)
+2 S Feng (Chn)
+2 J Sergas (Ita)
But when she drove into water at the par five 10th and racked up a treble bogey eight, her lead over playing partner and compatriot Amy Yang was reduced to just two shots.
Choi, who had carded a stunning third round 65, stretched her advantage to three again with a bounce back birdie at 11 before tugging her approach at the 12th.
But, after hacking out, she holed a 20 footer to save par and then scrambled another par at 13 to remain three in front.
After surviving that scare, Choi kicked clear again with birdies at 15 and 16 and then made par at 17 to give herself a five-shot cushion playing the last.
A closing bogey gave her a closing 73 and a winning total of seven-under 281 at the same course where Se Ri Pak won South Korea's first major title in 1998.
Choi, who embraced her caddie before being drenched in champagne by her friends, is the fifth Korean to win the US Women's Open in the last eight years and the sixth overall.
Yang (71), at three-under, was the only other player in the field to shoot under par while it was another four shots back to Germany's Sandra Gal who closed with a 74 to finish at one-over.
In a disappointing week for the home players, Paula Creamer, the 2010 champion, was the top American in tied seventh.