YANGMEI, Taiwan – Suzann Pettersen held off a mid-round rally Sunday from Azahara Munoz to win her second consecutive Taiwan Sunrise LPGA Championship.
Pettersen's 3-under-par 69 Sunday gave her a 9-under 279 total for the tournament, five ahead of Munoz's 284. The Spaniard carded a 70 in Sunday's round.
"It feels great to come here and defend my title and play as well as I did," Pettersen said. "It was very tough out there. Since the very first shot on Thursday, the conditions gave us a very big challenge."
Pettersen birdied the 13th, 14th and 18th holes to win going away after her bogey on the par-5 ninth allowed Munoz to pull within one stroke on the final day of the competition.
Earlier, Munoz had registered birdies on the fourth, seventh and eighth to continue her strong run of play from Saturday's round, when her 3-under 69 put her in competition for the first time. She went on to birdie the 12th but bogeys on 13 and 16 allowed Pettersen to pull away.
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Despite falling short, Munoz expressed satisfaction with her play.
"I was 4 under through 12 holes, and I was really playing really well," she said. "I made two bogeys coming in but I hit two really good shots and one came up short and one came up long, just misjudged the wind a little bit but I played really well."
By winning the $2 million Taiwan event, Pettersen puts herself in strong position to challenge South Korea's Inbee Park for the overall 2013 LPGA crown, with two tournaments remaining. Park did not compete in Taiwan.
"Obviously I know to be able to get to where I want to be," Pettersen said. "I have to win tournaments and I have to take advantage of every week that I play."
Finishing third in the Taiwan tournament was Caroline Hedwall of Sweden, who registered a 286 after coming in with a 2-under 70 Sunday.
A big disappointment for the Taiwan crowd was the inconsistent play of Taiwan's Yani Tseng, the 2011 Sunrise champion and former LPGA No. 1. Tseng's poor play on Thursday and Friday effectively took her out of contention, and she finished 10 over for the tournament, 19 strokes off the pace.