Suzann Pettersen won today for the 4th time in 2013 and the 14th time in her LPGA career on the strength of a 5-birdie 69 that gave her a 5-shot margin of victory over a resurgent Azahara Munoz in the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Only 2 other players managed to get and stay under par for the week, Caroline Hedwall and Eun-Hee Ji, and only 3 other players ended the week where they started it (Se Ri Pak, Mina Harigae, and Irene Cho), so even though Pettersen did 10 shots worse this year than when she won last year, this title defense is probably the more impressive victory, given what was at stake for her today. With Inbee Park unable to close the 2-shot gap on Sung Hyun Lee in the KLPGA's last major of the season and having to settle for a silver medal, it'll be interesting to see whether Pettersen has taken the world #1 spot on the Rolex Rankings from her this week. Be that as it may, we know that Pettersen broke the $2M barrier on the LPGA money list and is now within $100K of Park there--and now only 38 points behind her in the Player of the Year race and about .05 strokes behind Stacy Lewis in scoring average. Those last 2 races are even more important because they each carry with them a Hall of Fame point for their winner. The pressure's really on for the last 2 events of the LPGA season. Let's see how Stacy Lewis responds next week when she's the only representative of the LPGA's Big 3 in the Mizuno Classic.
Sakura Yokomine won today on the JLPGA, Lee-Anne Pace won on the LET in China, Sandra Gal took the bronze on the KLPGA, Beatriz Recari became the 6th player to join the LPGA's $1M club, and Moriya Jutanugarn cut Caroline Masson's lead in the Rookie of the Year race to 26 points, but all eyes are definitely on Suzann Pettersen. Congratulations!
[Update 1 (3:45 pm): bangkokbobby points out that Munoz made a race of it over the 1st 12 holes, but in the end Suzann was too much for her!]