KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Suzann Pettersen is back after a three-week break – and back in her comfort zone in the LPGA Tour's Asia Swing.
The 32-Norwegian star is coming off consecutive victories in the Safeway Classic and Evian Championship, the final major of the season. She also won the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April.
Pettersen will open play Thursday in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. She was four career LPGA Tour victories in Asia and won a Ladies European Tour event in China this year.
"I've done really well in Asia," the second-ranked Pettersen said. "I just think I love coming here. I've really tried to embrace it. I've really tried to enjoy it and look at it as it's just another opportunity. I think I've had almost half my wins in Asia, so it's kind of been a good place for me and I can bring back good memories.
"But overall I think really just try to embrace it and enjoy it because life can be a lot tougher than what we have it. I don't know if it's the food or the water or whatever, but something just seems to appeal for me quite well down here."
Last year, Inbee Park rallied to beat fellow South Korean player Na Yeon Choi by two strokes. The top-ranked Park, swept the first three major championships of the season and has three other LPGA Tour wins this season. She was third last week in China in the Reignwood LPGA Classic.
"This season has been very special and up and down," Park said Wednesday. "I had a good finish last week, which gives me a lot of confidence. This course gives me good memories. Looking forward to having another good week."
China's Shanshan Feng won last week, eagling the par-5 18th for a one-stroke victory over Women's British Open champion Stacy Lewis in the tour's first event in China.
"Usually after a player wins a tournament, then you actually give yourself more pressure because you expect yourself to do as well," said Feng, the 2012 LPGA Championship winner. "Sometimes you actually do opposite, you actually play worse. So what I'm thinking is I'm not going to set a goal, just try to keep the same feeling, same condition as last week, and just try my best."
She earned a new nickname last week.
"I mean, everybody here, like after I arrived at the course, everybody here, they see me, and they're like, oh, `Eagle, Eagle.' They don't call me Shanshan," Feng. "It just sounds like my name is Eagle now."
Lewis, a three-time winner this year, leads the Vare Trophy standings with a 69.564 scoring average. Pettersen is second at 69.700, and Park third at 69.797.
FRUSTRATION IN THE FAR EAST: Lewis still can't believe what happened in China
"Last week, it was tough," Lewis said. "It was a long week with some delays with the smog. But coming off that, I played some pretty good golf. That's what I take out of it. I think in the last few months I shot 25 under and 19 under and finished second twice, so I'm doing something right.
"I'm playing good golf. I feel good. After this week, I get three weeks off to kind of refresh for a little bit, but my game is in a good place and that's what I take out of last week."