Pettersen rallies to win Safeway Classic

The Sports NetworkSeptember 1, 2013 

Suzann Pettersen bounced back from an early double-bogey with eight birdies in an 11-hole span from the third on Sunday and that helped her rally to win the Safeway Classic.

Pettersen, who also won this title in 2011, ended the tournament at Columbia Edgewater Country Club at 20-under-par 268 after closing with a 5-under 67.

"The greens changed quite a bit over the last two days, they're a lot firmer and the speed has kind of picked up a little bit," Pettersen stated. "The goal today was not have any reactions, good or bad, and I didn't get off to the best start, but I knew there were a lot of birdies out there.

"Very glad to pull this one off. I didn't know where I was standing playing 13, 14, 15, 16. Having hit my approach shot on 18, I asked (my caddie), 'Where do we stand' and he said, 'You are comfortable.' I felt like it was a good bounce back from last week, where I kind of screwed it up on the last day. I was just looking at it happy to have a chance this week to play."

Stacy Lewis closed with a 4-under 68 to take second place at minus-18. Her Solheim Cup teammate Lizette Salas carded a 3-under 69 in the final round to grab third place at 17-under-par 271.

Cristie Kerr shot 69 for the second straight day to take fourth at minus-16. Caroline Masson was one stroke back after a final-round 70.

Sandra Gal (69) and Gerina Piller (66) shared sixth place at 14-under 274, while Karrie Webb took eighth at minus-13.

Yani Tseng led entering the final round, and the former world No. 1 was looking for her first title since March 2012. She struggled to a 6-over 78 that dropped her into a share of ninth at 12-under-par 276.

Pettersen was three shots back to start the final round. She faltered to a double-bogey while playing in the last group with Tseng. However, Tseng also made double, so Pettersen remained three shots back.

The Norwegian got one stroke back with a birdie on the third. After three birdies in a row from the fifth, Pettersen drained a 13-footer for birdie at the eighth to get to 18-under.

Around the turn, Pettersen broke out of a logjam. She kicked in a short birdie try on the 10th, then drained a birdie effort from over 25 feet out on No. 11.

Pettersen moved to 21-under with a 13-foot birdie putt at the par-3 13th. She stumbled to a bogey at No. 16, but closed with a pair of pars to wrap up her 12th LPGA Tour title.

With Tseng's early stumble, Lewis flew into the mix with back-to-back birdies at four and five. She moved to 17-under with a birdie at the eighth. Around the turn, Lewis managed just one more birdie, at the 15th, to end two back.

"Today was a little frustrating. I hit the ball much better today, and gave myself a lot more chances, and I don't know how some of those putts don't go in," Lewis said. "The greens were tricky and the pins were in some harder spots. I don't know. It's hard to be upset being bogey-free for 72 holes, so it's hard to be too upset."

NOTES: Pettersen, who has six top-10 finishes in her last seven starts, earned $195,000 for the victory ... She joined Inbee Park, Lewis and Beatriz Recari as the only four players with multiple wins this season ... The LPGA Tour heads to France in two weeks for the fifth and final major, the Evian Championship, where Park won by two strokes last year.

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