PHOENIX – Yani Tseng two-putted for par from 40 feet in fading light to hold off Ai Miyazato and Na Yeon Choi by a stroke Sunday and win the LPGA Founders Cup.
The top-ranked Taiwanese star won her 14th LPGA Tour title and second in four events this year. She closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 18 under.
The second-ranked Choi also shot 68, and Miyazato had a 69.
Because of lightning near the Wildfire Golf Club, play was delayed three times for a total of three hours. Tseng holed her winning 2-foot putt at 6:45 p.m. – 8 hours, 4 minutes after the leaders teed off and seven minutes after sunset.
After temperatures in the mid-80s Thursday and Friday and high 70s Saturday, it plunged into the low 40s Sunday morning and only got up to the mid-50s.
Following overnight rain, play began at 8:30 a.m. It was still in the mid-40s, spitting rain and windy when the leaders teed off at 10:41. Soon after, hail fell briefly on parts of the course.
Three strokes behind Miyazato at the turn, Tseng birdied five of the first six holes on the back nine and closed with three pars. On Thursday in the first round, she played a seven-hole stretch on the back nine in 7 under with an eagle and five birdies.
Tseng successfully defended her LPGA Thailand title in February. She led the tour last season with seven victories – including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women’s British Open – and finished the year with 12 worldwide titles.
Tseng, tied for the third-round lead with Miyazato at 14 under, bogeyed the seventh and eighth holes to fall three strokes behind the Japanese player.
After the second delay, with the sun poking through the clouds, Tseng returned to hole a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 10th.
She followed with a 6-footer on the par-5 11th to pull within a stroke, then made a 16-foot putt from the fringe on the par-4 13th to tie for the lead at 16 under.
Following the last delay, Tseng pulled ahead with a birdie on the par-3 14th. Choi also birdied the hole to tie Miyazato for second.
Tseng opened a two-stroke lead with a birdie on the par-5 15th. Miyazato and Choi rallied with birdies on the par-4 16th to pull within a stroke, but could only match Tseng’s pars on the final two holes as they raced to avoid a Monday finish.
Jennifer Song closed with a 66 to finish fourth at 14 under.
So Yeon Ryu was another stroke back after a 68.