Pettersen stays cool under pressure to win first major

Monday, June 11, 2007

Suzann Pettersen kept saying that her major meltdown 10 weeks ago was a distant memory. For those not listening, all they had to do was watch her Sunday at the LPGA Championship in Havre de Grace, Md.

Pettersen never flinched down the stretch, closing with a 5-under 67 to hold off a spirited challenge by Karrie Webb and a late charge by 18-year-old Na On Min for a one-shot victory and her first major championship.

The 26-year-old Norwegian had ample opportunity to fold at Bulle Rock, but she didn't give an inch. She hit the ball so purely that she never missed a green on the back nine and only twice had a birdie putt longer than 12 feet. One of those was on the final hole, when she had two putts from 30 feet for the victory.

The pace was perfect -- just like everything else on the back nine -- and settled 3 inches from the cup.

It was nothing like her performance at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, when Pettersen squandered a three-shot lead over the final four holes with a bogey, double bogey, bogey, par finish that left her in tears.

PGA Tour

Woody Austin turned around a miserable year with the perfect round at the right time.

Trailing by four strokes at the start of Sunday's play, Austin shot the best closing round on tour this year in winning the Stanford St. Jude Championship by five strokes for his first PGA Tour victory since 2004 and third overall.

His 8-under 62 was the best final round of his career and best in the 50 years of this event in Memphis, Tenn. It also was the tour's lowest closing round since Brad Faxon's 61 at the 2006 Buick Championship.

Champions Tour

Jay Haas cruised to his third Champions Tour win of the season, shooting a 2-under 69 to take the Principal Charity Classic in West Des Moines, Iowa, by three strokes.

Haas, the only player with multiple wins on the senior tour this season, finished with a 12-under total of 201. He led the entire way and picked up his ninth career victory on the Champions Tour.

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