Park edges out Choi for Malaysia win


South Korea’s Park Inbee edged out defending champion and tournament leader Choi Na-Yeon in a thrilling final day Sunday at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia to win with a 15-under 269.
The world number sixth ranked player kept her cool to become the third South Korean to win the tournament in as many years when she closed out with a four-under 67, defeating compatriot and friend Choi by two strokes overall.
World number four Choi, who led from the opening day, could only finish with a level par 71 Sunday, conceding the title of the $1.9 million competition at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to Park.
Park, who had slowly but surely been closing the gap on Choi, finally took the lead on the par-4 13th when she had a tap in for a birdie while Choi could only par. Less than 15 minutes later that lead became two, when Park’s irons came perfectly into play to set up another tap-in for a birdie. “I wasn’t nervous till about the 15th. It was an embarrassing bogey-bogey finish,” Park said. “I prefer leading because I knew whatever it was, I had to play well.”
Down by two, Choi knew her chances of defending a title for the first time in her career was over on the par-5 16th hole.
Park made a harsh of her approach shot and needed two attempts to get out of the bunker, but she then brilliantly made par from off the green.
Choi, who had a chance for a birdie, fluffed her lines and failed to put pressure on her compatriot, leaving her two behind going into the final two holes.
On the 17th hole, Park increased her lead to three after Choi crumbled and double-bogeyed the 17th, despite Park also bogeying the treacherous par-3.
On the final hole, Park had a horrendous tee shot but salvaged a bogey to claim the top prize.