Stanford claims her fifth career win in Singapore

Stanford claims her fifth career win in Singapore

SINGAPORE-The Associated Press
Stanford claims her fifth career win in Singapore

Stanford (R) is sprayed with beer by fellow golfers after after her win in Singapore. Reuter photo

Angela Stanford of the United States captured her fifth career victory on the third playoff hole at the $1.4 million HSBC Women’s Champions yesterday.

Stanford shot even par on the last playoff hole, beating South Korea’s Jenny Shin into joint second with China’s Shanshan Feng and Na Yeon Choi of South Korea. Feng was eliminated at the first playoff hole, Choi at the second at Tanah Merah Country Club.

Stanford, a 34-year-old Texan who hadn’t won since 2009, said it was an emotional victory.

“It’s a big deal,” Stanford said. “I’m just thinking about home and everybody there.” Stanford, who earned $210,000 for the win, trailed Shin by a shot after the 17th when play was suspended for about 90 minutes because of lightning. When play resumed, Shin hit her tee shot out of bounds, leading to a double bogey. Stanford shot a bogey on 18 to fall into the four-way joint lead at 10-under 278.

“I felt for her (Shin) because we’ve all been in that position,” said Stanford, who shot a 1-under 71 in the final round. “I didn’t think I’d be there at the end. I was all over the map today.” The 19-year-old Shin, who turned professional in 2010 and has competed in 18 LPGA tournaments, said her inexperience may have led to jitters at the 18th.

“The tee shot on the 18th hole really threw me off,” Shin said. “The playoff wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t as nervous as I was on the 18th.” Top-ranked Yani Tseng began the third round at 1-under but a 5-under 67 on Saturday and a 4-under 32 on the first nine holes Sunday put her in a brief tie for the lead with Shin. A disastrous double bogey on 10 and another bogey on 14 pushed her back down the leaderboard and she finished fifth, one shot behind the leaders after 72 holes.

Tseng had seven LPGA Tour victories last year and started this year with a win at last week’s LPGA Thailand. She has yet to win the HSBC Women’s Champions since it started in 2008.

“I’m kind of upset,” Tseng said. “I feel disappointed because I didn’t win this tournament. I was very close this year. I played great front nine, but hopefully next year I won’t be disappointed.” Stanford started the day tied for the lead with Shin and Katie Futcher, who faltered Sunday with five bogeys for a 4-over 76 and finished tied for 11th.

Karrie Webb, who won last year in Singapore, shot a 2-under 70 to finish 9 shots off the lead to tie for 25th place.
American Michelle Wie had another disappointing round with a 75 and was 32 shots behind the leaders. Wie finished the tournament second to last, ahead of only Singapore amateur Sock Hwee Koh.

The tournament featured a field of 63 golfers including 18 of the 20 top-ranked players when play started on Feb. 23.

However, American Paula Creamer, the No. 5-ranked player, withdrew after the second round for family reasons.