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Pettersen holds off Munoz for Taiwan victory

The SportsXchange

Suzann Pettersen fired a 3-under 69 Sunday to defend her Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship in Yang Mei, Taoyuan, Taiwan.

Pettersen claimed her 14th career LPGA Tour victory.

She survived a head-to-head battle with Spaniard Azahara Munoz throughout the final round but pulled away late to secure a five-stroke victory at Sunrise Golf & Country Club and clinch her fourth win of the season.

"It feels great to come here and defend my title and play as well as I did," Pettersen said. "It was very tough out there. Since the very first shot on Thursday, the conditions gave us a very big challenge. Today, Azahara gave me an even bigger challenge. She played really good on the front nine -- well, she played really good all around. I think I can almost thank her for keep pressing and keep pushing me because I just had to keep staying aggressive and try to make birdies."

Pettersen finished the tournament at 9-under with an overall score of 279, and earned a $300,000 winner's check.

Munoz shot a 2-under 70 for the day and finished at 4-under 284 overall.

Pettersen started the day with a four-stroke lead and birdied the second hole, but Munoz pulled to within three strokes after a birdie at the fourth. Pettersen bogeyed at the par-5 ninth to see her lead shrink to just one stroke.

The Norwegian maintained the lead until Munoz evened it up with a birdie at the par-4 12th. However, she rebounded with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 that gave her a three-stroke lead.

Pettersen cruised from there and birdied the par-5 18th to clinch the victory.

"For me, it was to keep pushing and keep pressing," Pettersen said. "I birdied the next, I had a good putt on 15 to have another birdie. I had a chance on 17, and then I made the putt on 18. So for me, 10-under was my goal. That's kind of where I tried to keep my focus. But obviously the way it ended up, it was literally a race between her and me."

Pettersen's winnings for the year reached $2,241,847 and she moved to within $93,613 of Inbee Park on the LPGA's official money list.
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