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Golf Roundup

Choi pulls out Samsung title

She wins despite losing 7-shot lead

Associated Press / September 21, 2009

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Na Yeon Choi blew her best chance for the first LPGA win of her career.

But her second chance worked out just fine.

After losing a seven-stroke lead in a mere eight holes yesterday, Choi rallied to shoot 1-under-par 71 to win the Samsung World Championship on the 18th hole.

“I can’t believe that I won,’’ Choi said. “Throughout the second half I thought I was going to lose it again.’’

Choi finished at 16-under 272 and held off Ai Miyazato, who shot a 69, the low round of the day at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

Choi began the final round with a two-stroke lead, got birdies on two of her first four holes and made a 10-foot eagle putt on the sixth, extending her lead to seven strokes.

But Miyazato, playing in the group in front of Choi and Jiyai Shin, made birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 to cut Choi’s lead to five.

Choi missed a 2-foot putt on No. 9 for a bogey, cutting the lead to four.

She continued to struggle with two consecutive bogeys, and Miyazato tied Choi at 16 under with a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 16. Miyazato took the lead shortly after, when Choi three-putted for bogey on No. 14.

On the 18th hole, it was Miyazato’s turn to make a mistake. With 203 yards remaining for her second shot, Miyazato’s 5-wood approach hit the bank in front of the 18th green and rolled into the water. She dropped in front of the pond but could not get up and down for par.

Choi’s second shot on the 18th reached the front left of the green and her third shot came to rest 5 feet below the pin. Choi converted the birdie for the victory.

Nationwide - Fran Quinn of Northborough beat playing partner Blake Adams after knocking an 8-iron to within 4 feet on the 18th hole and sinking the birdie putt to win the Boise Open.

Adams led after each of the first three rounds until Quinn finished his 2-under 69 with that putt for a 14-under 270 - all set up by that near-perfect shot from 169 yards out.

“It was one of those shots that comes off the club and you know it’s good. That shot is probably the best shot I’ve ever hit in my life’’ said Quinn, who also birdied the par-5 16th.

Quinn never led until his final putt fell on the par 4, earning him $130,500 and his first title since the 2000 Florida Classic, a span of 236 starts.

Adams, who began the day with a two-stroke lead over Quinn and Jonas Blixt, made four bogeys on the back nine in finishing with 1-over 72.

European - Rafael Cabrera-Bello shot a course-record 11-under 60 to win the Austrian Open by one stroke over Benn Barham in Oberwaltersdorf. Cabrera-Bello missed an eagle putt on No. 18 that would have given him a European Tour record 59.

Champions - Jay Haas shot a 7-under 65 to win his second Greater Hickory Classic by two shots in Conover, N.C. Haas finished at 18-under 198, his three-day total breaking the tournament mark by one shot.