Jang shoots 70 to win by one at Wegmans LPGA

Updated: June 25, 2006, 6:52 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Jeong Jang's surprise win in the Women's British Open last summer was a bigger accomplishment.

Her triumph Sunday in the Wegmans LPGA -- her first on American soil -- was more joyous.

"I've been waiting a long time, feels like over a year," the 26-year-old South Korean said after her one-stroke victory over Paraguay's Julieta Granada at the Locust Hill course. "That's why I think more happy."

With a 13-under 275 total, Jang picked up her second career LPGA Tour title and earned $270,000 to jump from 11th to seventh on the money list with $650,081. She is the eighth South Korean winner on the tour this season.

Granada, a 19-year-old rookie who tied for fourth in February at the Fields Open in Hawaii, birdied the last hole for a 67.

"My putting was really on," said Granada, who made a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 13. "Unfortunately, I couldn't make birdie on any of the next four holes. I didn't hit good shots in ... so what can you do?"

Marcy Hart (69) missed an 18-inch par putt on the last hole to drop to 11 under and a tie for third with Brittany Lang (71).

Mi Hyun Kim (72), who along with Lang started the day one stroke behind Jang, finished fifth at 19 under.

The 20-year-old Lang, a runner-up in the U.S. Women's Open as an amateur a year ago, briefly held the lead after the turn, but fell away when wayward drives led to two straight bogeys.

Jang, now in her seventh year on tour, burst to prominence last July with a wire-to-wire win at Royal Birkdale. A major victory, she said, made her realize that success in golf is within her grasp.

Last month, Jang squandered a three-shot lead in the final round of the Corning Classic to drop into a tie for seventh.

She opened Sunday with a bogey after driving into the rough, but rebounded with a 6-foot birdie putt on No. 2 and remained one ahead of Lang with another birdie on No. 4. Jang reached the front edge of the green on the par-5 eighth in two and two-putted for her third birdie.

She missed a 10-foot par putt on No. 10 to lose the lead to Lang, but went ahead again at No. 13, leaving her approach shot 6 feet away. She then drove into a bunker on No. 15 and failed to convert a 20-foot par putt.

Her third shot from the rough on No. 17, a par 5, hit the flagstick and she birdied from 2 feet to regain the lead for good. She finished with a tap-in par.

"I was very nervous, at the starting hole and finishing hole, so nervous," Jang said. "That's why I had a couple of bogeys. I had a little busy day but it's OK."

Defending champion Lorena Ochoa, who has two victories and five second-place finishes this year, closed with a 69 to tie for sixth at 9 under. The Mexican star stayed atop the money list with $1.2 million, extending her lead over Australia's Karrie Webb (71), who finished at 1 under.

South Korea's Shi Hyun Ahn, who led by one after both the first and second rounds, shot a 71 to tie for 17th at 6 under.

Another South Korean, Gloria Park, closed with a 65, the day's best score, to leapfrog into sixth place alongside Ochoa, Wendy Ward and Sherri Steinhauer.

The $1.8 million tournament in Pittsford, a Rochester suburb, is in its 30th year.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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