- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2007

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. (AP) — With a major championship in her grasp, Suzann Pettersen never flinched.

Not at the furious charge from 18-year-old Na On Min, who made four straight birdies to pull within one shot. Not at the relentless pressure from Karrie Webb, who birdied the last two holes. And not at memories of a major meltdown 10 weeks ago.

Pettersen felt like a different person at the LPGA Championship.

And it showed.

The 26-year-old Norwegian redeemed herself yesterday with a 5-under 67 for a one-shot victory over Webb and her first major. She played so close to perfection on the back nine at Bulle Rock that she had a birdie putt on every hole, only two of them longer than 12 feet.

There was no choke from this champion.

I wasn’t even close to being in those emotions that I was back then, said Pettersen, who blew a three-shot lead with four holes to play at the Kraft Nabisco. I finally proved to all of you that I can actually put it all together and take a major. So now I probably don’t have to get that question again.

The only question now is how good she can get.

Webb described her earlier in the week as having more talent in her tiny finger that some players on the LPGA Tour, and Pettersen showed it on a demanding course, finishing at 14-under 274.

I believe I can be the best player in the world, said Pettersen, who overcame a back injury two years ago so serious that doctors told her she might not play again. But you have to give me time. It definitely helps with my confidence.

Webb closed with a 67 and had to settle for second again.

A year ago, Se Ri Pak beat her in a playoff with a 201-yard shot that stopped a few inches from the cup. This time, Webb finished with two birdies that, considering what happened at the Kraft Nabisco, she thought might be good enough.

I knew what happened to her at Kraft, and I just knew I needed to keep putting pressure on her, Webb said. She obviously executed very well coming down the stretch, and she should be very proud of herself. It shows a lot of courage and guts and trust in her ability.

Min, trying to become the youngest major champion in LPGA history, ran off four straight birdies through the 16th hole to get within one shot and had a 10-footer on the 17th. But she settled for pars on the last two holes for a 70 to finish third. It was her first time playing in a major and only her sixth tournament as a pro.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide