Choi rallies, wins South Korean tournament

Oct. 31, 2010 at 7:08 AM
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INCHEON, South Korea, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Choi Na-yeon shot a 3-under-par 69 Sunday in coming from behind and defending her title at the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in South Korea.

Choi started Sunday one stroke behind Kim Song-hee but used a round with five birdies and two bogeys to pass Kim and collect her fourth LPGA title and $270,000. She had a 54-hole total of 10-under 206.

"I am really happy to defend my title this year," said Choi, who turned 23 Thursday. "There were a lot of expectations from the fans … in order to live up to those expectations, I had to let everything out on the course and concentrate on every shot. That paid off."

Vicky Hurst, who closed with a 2-under 70, was second at 8-under and won $166,643. Kim, who had five bogeys over her final 10 holes, sagged to a 1-over 73 and settled for third place and $120,888.

Choi, Hurst and Kim played together in Sunday's final group. Kim seemed in good position to win her first LPGA title when she opened a 2-stroke lead on Hurst and was three up on Choi.

But Choi had a birdie at the eighth hole and Kim a bogey at No. 9 that allowed Choi to get back within one. Choi had a birdie at 10 while Kim had a bogey and the lead switched hands. Birdies at 11 and 13 increased Choi's advantage.

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