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Pettersen bests Salas in playoff at LPGA Lotte Championship

By Paul Arnett

LAST UPDATED: 5:03 p.m. HST, Apr 20, 2013

On a day where birdies ruled, Norway's Suzann Pettersen won it with par on the first playoff hole to capture the LPGA Lotte Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club in West Oahu.

A bogey in regulation by Pettersen, coupled with a stellar 10-under 62 by Lizette Salas left both golfers at 19-under 269 after 72 holes. Both had chances to win it at 18 in regulation. Both missed. Pettersen closed with a 67, but Salas had the round of the day with a tournament-record 10-under 62. She missed a birdie putt at the last that would have given her the win.

Returning to 18 for the first playoff hole, both golfers found the fairway with their drives. Pettersen used an 8-iron from 146 to hit about 20 feet below the hole for birdie. Salas responded from 144 with an 8-iron into the water. She said, "Oh, God" after she hit it, the ball plunging into the drink about 10 yards short of dry land.

Pettersen, shot all four rounds in the 60s, needed to two-putt from 20 to secure the win. And she did just that.

Playing one group in front of Pettersen, Salas was one shot back when she missed a 10-footer for birdie at the last as it lipped out. She jumped into contention with an eagle at the par-4 10th on her second shot from the fairway and shot 29 on the back. Pettersen was 6 under through 17, but was in the rough on 18 with her drive.

She pitched up to the front of the green, hoping to get up and down for the win, but her approach went 15 feet past. Make it, and she wins. She missed above the hole.

As for Honolulu's Michelle Wie, she fashioned a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to finish at 5-under 283 to tie for 28th. She overcame a slow start to the tournament, barely surviving the cut, but making the most of her opportunity. She carded only one bogey over her final 42 holes and 10 birdies.

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