Lexi Thompson wins LPGA Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- American teenager Lexi Thompson shot a 2-under 69 on Sunday to win the LPGA Malaysia title by four strokes.
The 18-year-old, who won her second career LPGA title and first of the season, finished on 19-under 265 to end the South Korean dominance at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
Chinese star Feng Shanshan was second after a 67, while Ilhee Lee, the leader after the first two rounds, tied for third with second-ranked Suzann Pettersen another three strokes back.
Thompson also won the Navistar LPGA Classic 2011.
"Words can't even describe the feeling I have right now," said Thompson. "It's sort of like a rerun from Navistar, just having that feeling walking up to the 18th green, embracing the fans and just knowing you have the win under your belt.
"It's very big, I have worked so hard between this whole last year since Navistar, it pays off and means so much to me."
South Korea's Amy Yang was fifth, nine shots off the pace.
Sandra Gal of Germany, who shot a 66 in the final round, finished with a share of sixth alongside Chella Choi, Alison Walshe, Stacy Lewis, Beatriz Recari and Karine Icher.
Thompson began the day atop the leaderboard, leading nearest rival Lee of South Korea by three strokes, but the comfortable margin was down to two after the first nine as Lee made her move.
Lee picked up two back-to-back birdies on No. 7 and No. 8.
"She (Lee) made a few birdies in that stretch of holes that I missed a few birdies putts. It got really close," said Thompson, who bogeyed the 2nd to drop a shot. "It was hard to grasp because I actually hit some really good putts and they just lipped out unfortunately."
Pressure on Thompson eased a little when Lee bogeyed the ninth hole.
On the back nine, Thompson came back strongly and fired three straight birdies to put her back in a comfortable position.
"Those were big. No. 10, I just hit a close wedge shot and made like a 4-footer, but the birdie actually on 11 was really unexpected," she said. "But those are always huge in a tournament, getting into the next hole and always pumping yourself up to make more birdies out there."
She added another birdie on 16th to close in on the title she went on to clinch despite a bogey on the next.
Jimin Kang won the inaugural event in 2010 before compatriots Na Yeon and the top-ranked Inbee Park followed the next two years.