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Safeway Classic – Final-Round Notes and Interviews

Posted by on Aug 22nd, 2011 and filed under Golf. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Untitled Document
Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola
Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Ghost Creek Course
North Plains, Ore.
August 21, 2011
Final-round notes and interviews

Suzann Pettersen -6, Rolex Rankings No. 3, won on the first hole of a playoff
Na Yeon Choi -6, Rolex Rankings No. 5
Hee Young Park -5, Rolex Rankings No. 70

Suzann Pettersen

Suzann Pettersen rallied from nine shots back on Sunday to win the 2011 Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola, recording a par on the 18th hole to defeat Rolex Rankings No. 5 Na Yeon Choi on the first hole of a playoff. Pettersen fired the lowest round of the week, a 7-under 64, on the Ghost Creek Course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club and finished her round nearly two hours before Choi bogeyed the 18th hole to force the playoff.

In the playoff, Choi’s second shot on the par-4 18th went into the water to the right of the green, and she missed a putt for bogey before Pettersen, who had lost in a playoff to M.J. Hur at the 2009 Safeway Classic, sank her winning par putt.

Pettersen, who is a native of Norway, entered Sunday at 1-over-par, trailing second-round leader Choi by nine shots, but a strong day with her putter helped her to stake the impressive comeback. Pettersen had five birdies and one eagle on No. 10, which was nearly an albatross as Pettersen joked she had to sink just a two-inch putt, en route to putting herself at the top of the leaderboard.

This is Pettersen’s second LPGA Tour title of the year and the eighth of her career. She also won the 2011 Sybase Match Play Championship back in May. Petterson, who recently captured the Ladies European Tour’s Ladies Irish Open at Killeen Castle on Aug. 7, will now move up to No. 2 in the Rolex Rankings behind World No. 1 Yani Tseng.

“I definitely didn’t think I was going to sit here when I started the day warming up,” Pettersen said after her victory. “It was nice to have a back‑to‑back win, Ireland and here, and my full‑time caddie on the bag this week. So now this is really a bonus coming off a five‑day vacation back home. I did not anticipate this, but I’ll take it.”

Another emotional win: While things have been clicking on the golf course for Pettersen this summer, life certainly has not been easy off of it. First there was the tragedy that struck her hometown of Oslo, Norway on July 22. A total of 77 people lost their lives in two attacks, a bombing near the government buildings in the capital city and a mass shooting at a youth camp on a nearby island.

Pettersen was grieving another loss this week after a close family friend, Annan Henneie, was killed in a skydiving accident on Wednesday back in Norway. Henneie, 29, left behind a wife and a 10-day-old son and Pettersen dedicated her victory to his memory.

“It’s been a brutal summer,” Pettersen said. “This last incident was just the top of the ‑‑ just, I don’t know. It’s, like I said, it’s been very, very tough. All I can think of is my love and my hugs go to his family and his wife and his little son. It’s just very, very sad.”

“It makes you realize life’s not all about golf,” she added. “It make

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