Stanford wins HSBC Champions on 3rd playoff hole
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By ALEX KENNEDY
SINGAPORE (AP) Angela Stanford won the HSBC Women's Champions on the third playoff hole Sunday, her first victory since 2009 and her fifth on the LPGA Tour.
The 34-year-old Texan parred the last playoff hole, beating South Koreans Jenny Shin and Na Yeon Choi and China's Shanshan Feng.
"It's a big deal," Stanford said. "I'm just thinking about home and everybody there."
Stanford, who earned $210,000 for the victory, trailed Shin by a shot after the 17th when play was delayed about 90 minutes because of lightning. When play resumed, Shin hit her tee shot out of bounds, leading to a double bogey. Stanford bogeyed No. 18 to fall into a four-way tie at 10-under 278.
"I felt for her (Shin) because we've all been in that position," said Stanford, who shot a 1-under 71 in the final round. "I didn't think I'd be there at the end. I was all over the map today."
The 19-year-old Shin turned professional in 2010 and has competed in 18 LPGA tournaments. She said her inexperience may have led to jitters at the 18th.
"The tee shot on the 18th hole really threw me off," Shin said. "The playoff wasn't that bad. I wasn't as nervous as I was on the 18th."
Top-ranked Yani Tseng finished fifth, one shot behind after 72 holes. Michelle Wie had another disappointing round with a 75 and trailed the leaders by 32 shots. Wie finished next to last, ahead of only Singapore amateur Sock Hwee Koh.
Tseng began the third round at 1 under. But a 5-under 67 on Saturday and a 4-under 32 on the first nine holes Sunday put her in a brief tie for the lead with Shin. A double bogey on 10 and another bogey on 14 pushed her back down the leaderboard.
Tseng had seven LPGA Tour victories last year and started this year with a win at last week's LPGA Thailand. She has yet to win the HSBC Women's Champions since it started in 2008.
"I'm kind of upset," Tseng said. "I feel disappointed because I didn't win this tournament. I was very close this year. I played great front nine, but hopefully next year I won't be disappointed."
Stanford started the day tied for the lead with Shin and Katie Futcher, who faltered Sunday with five bogeys for a 76 and finished tied for 11th.
Karrie Webb, who won last year in Singapore, shot a 70 to finish nine shots off the lead.
The tournament featured a field of 63 golfers, including 18 of the 20 top-ranked players when play started Thursday. Paula Creamer, the No. 5-ranked player, withdrew after the second round for family reasons.
Updated February 26, 2012