Taiwan’s Tseng defends Australian title

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67

MELBOURNE – Taiwan’s Yani Tseng dominated a high-class field to successfully defend her Women’s Australian Open title by seven shots at Melbourne’s Commonwealth course on Sunday. The three-time major champion was in control throughout the final 18 holes to close with a two-under 71 for a 72-hole aggregate of 16-under 276.
Tseng, 22, voted the 2010 LPGA Player of the Year, ran away from the field with the anticipated challenge from South Korean rival and world number one Jiyai Shin failing to materialise. The Korean struggled to post a closing 75 but held on for a three-way share of second place with compatriot Eun-Hee Ji, the 2009 US Open winner, and England’s Melissa Reid. Reid rattled home three consecutive birdies for the day’s equal best round of 68.
American Jennifer Song was outright fifth on seven under, while Australians Katherine Hull (76) and Karrie Webb (70) finished tied seventh at five-under.
The finishing stretch became a stroll for Tseng, despite a tense moment when tournament officials approached the final group on the 14th fairway to issue a warning for slow play.
The distraction did no impact on the world number five, who was exceptional from tee to green during a tough week of fluctuating weather conditions.