Team South Africa ended joint 13th at the Mission Hills World Ladies Championship in China earlier today, after an overnight high position of 6th place after the first round, with South Korea clinching gold by a clear 5 shots ahead of second-placed Norway, themselves 5 shots ahead of third-placed Thailand by for the top three on the leaderboard (click to view the leaderboard courtesy the LET).
Stacy Bregman lead the stakes for South Africa, her 2-under par 70 on Day 1 the highlight of her tour card of 288, a Day 3 74 in between two even-par 72s. After the final round Bregman, was happy with her first outing result:
Finished T22!Ok 1st event back.Lots to work on but 1st players party & then shopping Shanghai for 2day!#MissionHillsWorldLadiesChampionship
— Stacy Bregman (@stacybregman) March 10, 2013
Bregman’s partner Lee-Anne Pace started well with two even-par rounds before a 75 on Saturday heralded an even worse 77 on Sunday, to finish on 296 for the tour. Her frustration was clear:
The two South African independents, Connie Chen and Tandi Cuningham failed to make the cut, after Day 2.
At the top in the singles stakes, world No.8 Suzann Pettersen of Norway came from two shots behind Korea’s Inbee Park to claim a one stroke victory.
— Suzann Pettersen (@suzannpettersen) March 10, 2013
Pettersen fired a bogey-free six under 66 on the Sandbelt Trails Course on a hot and sunny final day at Mission Hills Haikou in tropical Hainan, southern China.
“My goal was to get it to 20 under par. I said if I get beat at 20, I can live with it. I know Inbee is in there and if she just gets one look at a putt, it’s in, so I had to bring my best and the putter was hot today,” Pettersen said.
“I’m very happy with how the game is and I’m just very happy to see the work that the China Golf Association does with the kids and how they grow the game.”
Pettersen saved her best golf of the week until the final day and she said: “I knew it would take the best to get this trophy but I was really keen on winning this tournament and it sets me up for a good start for this new year.”
Park fell behind early in the round and rallied with four birdies in five holes around the turn, however the 24-year-old World No.4 from Seoul stalled with a bogey on 15 which gave Pettersen a two stroke advantage.
Although Park birdied the par-5 18th, after hitting her second shot into a bunker short of the green, she couldn’t close the gap.
Pettersen chipped from the side of the 18th green and took two putts to claim her 16th worldwide tournament victory and her sixth Ladies European Tour title.
She added: “I’ve been really enjoying myself here and I feel comfortable. I like coming back and playing on the European Tour.”
The Korean pair of Park and Ha-Neul Kim won the team event running concurrently, with a five stroke victory over Norway, followed by Thailand five shots further behind.
Park said: “I don’t really worry about the team competition because we had a big lead for the last three days. I think we are pretty comfortable for the team event.
“So I just focus on the game as an individual today because I wanted to win this tournament. I didn’t play great today but Suzann played great so she did it. I am happy that we won as a team. It was a great experience.”
Simin Feng, aged 17, took the leading amateur prize, ending in a share of 35th place at three over and one stroke clear of nearest rival Michelle Cheung.