Golf: Pettersen Downs Choi to Win LPGA Safeway Classic

Suzann Pettersen on the practice green before ...

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A nine-stroke deficit did not stop Norway’s Suzann Pettersen from defeating South Korean Na Yeon Choi during Sunday’s first playoff hole, to emerge victorious at the LPGA Safeway Classic.

Choi originally led the 54-hole tournament, but while Pettersen started the final round with a nine off, she carded a seven-under par 64 with a total of 207. Choi could have won with a par at the regulation play’s final hole but she was left on six-under 207 after she closed with a bogey for a two-over 73.

It was downhill for Choi after they returned for the playoff at the par-four 18th with her second shot going right into the green’s water right.

This is the Pettersen’s second LPGA title of the year and her eight overall, after winning the Ladies’ European Tour’s ladies Irish Open on August 7 at the Killeen Castle. She had no bogeys at the final round where she got five birdies and an eagle at the 10th.

Pettersen’s victory brought her at the Top 2 of the world rankings, following Taiwan’s Yani Tseng.

“I didn’t really expect this when I when I woke up this morning nine strokes back,” Pettersen said. “I guess when you’re on a roll, you’re on a roll.”

Pettersen however admitted that her mind has not been all on golf despite her recent successes as she recently lost a close family friend in a skydiving accident. The July 22 attacks in Norway which killed 77 people also left her stunned. Oslo’s government quarter was bombed by Anders Behring Breivik before he gunned down the participants of an island youth camp.

“It makes you realize life’s not all about golf,” Pettersen said. “It makes you put things in perspective.”