by Jeff Skinner
Suzann Pettersen out lasted a hard charging Lizette Salas and earned he eleventh LPGA Tour victory at The LPGA Lotte Championship over the Ko Olina Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii. Pettersen had started the day with a one shot lead over the field and a full five shots ahead of Salas. But Salas managed to card the lowest round on the LPGA this season with a ten under par 62. Pettersen had an excellent day with a 67 but a bogey at the last dropped her into a tie with the rookie at nineteen under.
Pettersen’s round of five under is even more impressive considering her drive went out of bounds on thirteen. Salas had the round of the year which included only one bogey, nine birdies (five in a row on the back nine) and an eagle on the tenth. Salas had a solid chance to get it to 20 under and a round of 61 on her final hole. After an excellent approach she had an uphill putt of about twelve feet for birdie. The putt was on line but a bit too much pace caused it to lip out and Salas was left to wait for Pettersen to finish. When Pettersen’s drive landed in the rough she was force to layup and when she couldn’t get it up and down her third bogey of the day dropped her into the tie and the two went back to eighteen for a playoff.
Salas, who had hit such a quality approach just moments ago, may have felt the pressure of staring at her first LPGA Tour win. She chunked her iron into the water and stared at the ripples as her chance for victory sank to the bottom.
Pettersen closed out the win with a routine two putt par and was left to dance the hula in celebration. Pettersen, currently sixth in the Rolex World Rankings will no doubt move up and seems to have been playing quality golf forever. This fact reinforces that feeling: she has spent 306 weeks in the top ten of the world rankings.