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Alfredsson wins Grand China Air tournament

Alfredsson wins Grand China Air tournament

Swedish veteran Helen Alfredsson shot a 7-under 65 on Sunday to win the Grand China Air tournament, beating Taiwan's Yani Tseng by three strokes for her second victory of the season.
The 43-year-old, Europe's 2007 Solheim Cup captain, overhauled second-round leader Karen Stupples, who led by five strokes entering the final round of the 54-hole event, the first LPGA tournament in China.
Alfredsson finished at 12-under 204 after opening rounds of 70 and 69. Rising star Tseng, who won the LPGA Championship earlier this season aged 19, finished with a 68.
Laura Diaz of the United States, the first-round leader after a 63, was four back after a 72. Stupples of England was five back after a disappointing final round 75.
Diaz and Stupples were trying to end victory droughts _ Stupples hasn't won in four years, and Diaz in six _ but both crashed on the back nine, when Stupples had four bogeys and Diaz had three.
Alfredsson had six birdies on the first 10 holes. The final one in that surge gave her the outright lead, moving her to 11-under and a stroke clear of Stupples. Birdies on 14 and 17 moved her to 13-under. Playing three groups ahead of the final threesome, she left the door slightly ajar with a poor chip and a bogey on 18.
"I was certain at that point," Alfredsson said. "I was 4-up and I didn't have huge pressure on me for the chip shot. But it was not a great shot. But it's great to be on 18 and have a four-shot lead."
Alfredsson said she is likely to play only another year or two on tour. She gets pleasure beating players who are decades younger, like the young Taiwanese Tseng.
"They don't want to get beat by us because we are so old, and we still want to beat them because they are so young," Alfredsson said.
Earlier this season Annika Sorenstam _ she finished 10 off the pace with a 72 on Sunday _ said Tseng (pronounced Zung) would be the No. 1-ranked player in three seasons.
"That was very exciting," Tseng said on Sunday. "I can't believe she would say that because she is my idol. I don't want her to be disappointed, so I will work hard."
Alfredsson won the Evian Masters earlier in the season in a three-way playoff. This victory, worth US$270,000, pushed her career earnings to over US$5 million.
Among the other prominent finishers, Young Kim of South Korea had a 71 to finish six off the pace, and China's Shanshan Feng carded a 68 to be seven behind. Feng is the only Chinese player on the LPGA Tour.
South Korean Shi-Hyun Ahn retired with a back injury after the 10th hole. The extent of her injury was not immediately known. She was 4-under for the tournament at the time and 2-over for the day.
Conditions at the West Coast Golf Club were sultry, lessened only by a light breeze blowing over China's southern island of Hainan _ sandwiched between the Gulf of Tonkin and the South China Sea.
This inaugural event is on the schedule again for next season, although the venue has not been announced.


Updated : 2021-06-19 09:05 GMT+08:00