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Pettersen tops teen Ko to win Evian Championship

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm •  Published: September 15, 2013
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EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Suzann Pettersen barely had time to hug her caddie before the Champagne started flowing in her direction.

In the first women's major played in Europe, Pettersen beat teenage star Lydia Ko of New Zealand by two shots to win the Evian Championship on Sunday and clinch the second major title of her career.

The Norwegian calmly rolled in her par putt to seal the title. Pettersen then leaned back and held her head in her hands, hugged her caddie and laughed as she was surrounded by friends spraying her with Champagne on the green.

"I might start to get a bit emotional," Pettersen said, her voice wavering, as she collected the trophy.

It was her first major since the LPGA Championship in 2007 and her second straight tournament win after the Safeway Classic this month.

Pettersen shot a 3-under 68 to finish with a 10-under total of 203 after the tournament was reduced to three rounds when Thursday's play was rained out. The 16-year-old Ko, who was trying to become the youngest major champion, finished with a 70.

American Lexi Thompson shot a 68 to finish four shots back in third place, with South Koreans So Yeon Ryu and Se Ri Pak five shots behind in a tie for fourth.

This was the first year that Evian counted as the fifth and final major of the year on the women's calendar.

"I don't know if it's quite sunk in yet that I've won another major. It's been a while, but I'm pretty lucky to say that I've won two," Pettersen said. "Hopefully, this is just the start. It's been such a great month, five weeks for me, starting off with the Solheim (Cup). It was a great kick-start for what became the best month of my career."

The third-ranked Pettersen plans to have "one heck of a party" to celebrate, before focusing on her goal to earn the No. 1 ranking.

"This is part of the process, you have to win tournaments, you have to win majors," said Pettersen, who in the past has been hampered by a fiery temperament. "I feel I've been a lot more relaxed around the golf course over the past year, smiling a lot more. ... I've come to the age when I'm too old to be around and not be happy."

Top-ranked Inbee Park was looking to become the first golfer to win four majors in a year, but finished way out of contention.

Mika Miyazato of Japan held a one-shot lead going into the final round but struggled to a 79 and finished tied for 19th.

That left Ko — at 16 years, 4 months, 22 days — as Pettersen's main challenger. But she bogeyed the 13th to fall two shots behind and never looked likely to make a comeback. Her chip for birdie at the 18th — which would have put some pressure on Pettersen — stopped just left of the hole.

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