Tseng solidifies top ranking with win

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

CHONBURI, Thailand -- Newly minted world No. 1 Yani Tseng proved herself worthy of the top ranking after shooting a six-under 66 on Sunday to win the LPGA's season-opening Honda LPGA Thailand.

Tseng, who was victorious in each of the last two weeks on the Ladies European Tour to claim the top spot in the world for the first time, captured her sixth LPGA event with a 15-under par 207 and ended with a convincing five-stroke win at Siam Country Club.

She was nearly flawless, posting seven birdies and just a single bogey on Sunday.

"I just tried my best and I know I had lots of confidence, but with all the great golfers out here, you never know until the last putt drops in," Tseng said. "I really enjoyed the tournament this week."

Michelle Wie, who entered the day only one stroke behind Tseng, finished in second at 10-under 278 after firing a minus-two 70 on Sunday.

Tseng, Wie and first- and second-round leader I.K. Kim were neck-and-neck throughout the final round, but Tseng pulled away at the end with four birdies and a bogey on the back nine.

Wie had eight pars and a bogey on the back nine and lost ground, while Kim's nine on the par-four 17th ended her bid for the title.

"I feel like I played good out there today, but on the back-nine I just didn't make anything," Wie said. "Yani played fantastic. She played like a rock star out there. She made every single putt and zero mistakes. Congrats to her."

Kim (71), who had six birdies in an otherwise unblemished round, finished in a share for third with Karrie Webb (69) at nine-under par 279.

After the front nine, it looked as if the tournament would come down to a single stroke, though it didn't turn out that way.

Tseng held the lead as each of the three contenders headed to the back nine at minus-12. Wie and Kim were both hot on her trail at 11-under par.

With a birdie at the 10th, Tseng maintained her one-stroke lead over Kim, who stood at 12-under through 11 holes. Wie was two strokes back after the 10th.

Tseng widened her advantage with back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th, pushing the cushion to two strokes over Kim, who had posted a birdie at the 13th to temporarily remain one shot back.

The lone bogey for Tseng again cut the gap to one between her and Kim, though she immediately made up for it with a birdie at the 15th.

While Wie continued to par holes to fall out of contention, Kim needed to make her move quickly if she was to catch Tseng. However, things came apart at the 17th when she lost five strokes with a nine at the par-four hole.

The huge misstep all but sealed the win for Tseng, who simply parred the final three holes to cruise to the victory.

"All day, I was patient and focused and I just tried to control what I could control," Tseng said.

Defending champion Ai Miyazato, who will also defend another title next week at the HSBC Women's Champions, finished the tournament at four-over par 292 after firing a three-over 75 on Sunday.

Paula Creamer (71) rounded out the top-five at eight-under 280, while Juli Inkster (70) finished at minus-six.

NOTES: Three of Tseng's six career LPGA Tour victories have come in major tournaments...After Kim tied a course record with a 63 in the first round, she failed to do better than 71 in each of the final three rounds...Only four players shot a round in the 60s on Sunday. Tseng's was the only round better than 69.


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