Inbee Park stumbled Sunday at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, but she won enough Rolex Player of the Year points to move within striking distance of front-running Stacy Lewis.
Suzann Pettersen overtook Park in the final round to claim back-to-back LPGA titles, but Park's second-place finish tightens the Player of the Year points race with three events left in the season.
Lewis, who did not play in Taiwan, leads with 184 points in a bid to become the first American to be the LPGA's Player of the Year since Beth Daniel in 1994. Park is now 28 points behind Lewis. An LPGA win is worth 30 points, a second-place finish is worth 12. Only the top 10 earn points.
“Earlier in the season, I really didn't think about (Player of the Year) much, but it's almost the end of the season and only three tournaments to go,” Park said. “And I think I have a good chance because I'm playing good, and I have confidence. And these three tournaments, who knows what's going to happen? Just play tournament by tournament, shot by shot and see if I can go close.”
World No. 1 Yani Tseng continued her improved play Sunday, finishing solo third in her title defense in Taiwan. That's back-to-back third-place finishes for Tseng. She also is third in Rolex POY points with 138. Pettersen moved up to 10th with 93 points.
Lewis, Park and Tseng are each scheduled to compete in the final three events of the season: the Mizuno Classic in Japan (Nov. 2-4), the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico (Nov. 8-11) and the CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla. (Nov. 15-18).
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