Maria Hjorth won the LPGA Tour Championship on Sunday, using a final-round 72 to hold off a field that struggled to even make par.
Hjorth had three birdies and three bogeys on a picture-perfect day at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, where only six of 120 players finished below par for the tournament. Third-round leader Amy Yang shot 74 to finish one shot back.
Hjorth finished at 5-under 283 for the tournament, the highest-winning score relative to par all year except for Paula Creamer’s 3-under victory in the U.S. Open at Oakmont. The firm and fluctuating greens at Grand Cypress played similar to the toughest major this week, and near-freezing conditions in the first two rounds only punctuated the challenges.
Yang made a birdie putt on the 18th from about 15 feet over a ridge, forcing Hjorth to sink an 8-foot putt slightly down hill to save par. She did, dropping her putter and lifting her arms in the air in triumph after it rolled in.
Yani Tseng also clinched LPGA player of the year, despite finishing 5 over for the tournament. None of the major season awards even changed hands this week.
SUNSHINE TOUR -- Lee Westwood maintained his year-end No. 1 ranking with an eight-shot victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa.
The Englishman sailed to a 4-under 68 in the final round, chipping in from the fringe at No. 18 for a birdie to finish at 17-under 271 at the Gary Player Country Club.
South Africa’s Tim Clark shot a 71 to finish second at 9 under, one shot ahead of compatriot Retief Goosen and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.
AUSTRALIAN PGA -- Geoff Ogilvy won the Australian Open in Sydney for his second professional victory in his home country, closing with a 3-under 69 for a four-stroke victory.
Ogilvy had a 19-under 269 total at The Lakes. The 2006 U.S. Open champion won the 2008 Australian PGA for his only other professional victory Down Under.