Choi retains her Hana Bank title

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Na Yeon Choi has came from behind to successfully defend the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in her native South Korea.

Na Yeon Choi has came from behind to successfully defended her title at the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in her native South Korea.

Choi shot a 3-under 69 at the Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course on Sunday for a two-stroke victory over American Vicky Hurst, the first round leader who closed with a 70.

Choi finished at 10 under to earned $270,000 for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and her fourth in two years.

In July, she won the Jamie Farr Classic in a four-way playoff.

“I am really happy to defend my title,” a bubbly Choi said afterwards

“There were a lot of expectations from the fans. In order to live up to those expectations, I had to let everything out on the course and concentrate on every shot. That paid off.

“Even though I am best friends with Song-hee, I can’t think about friendship on the course. It’s all about competition on the course. I made my effort to focus on the game. If I thought about the friendship with Song-Hee, I could have not concentrated on my game the way I did.”

Hurst, in the meantime, admitted she ran out of steam on the back nine.

“I played very steady, and that was my goal. My mom told me to just be patient and stay calm, keep going, making pars and birdies. And I did that, so I’m pretty proud of myself,” she said.

“On the front nine, all three of us played really well. Then on the back nine, it got a little bit tiring grinding so hard.”

Second-round leader Song-Hee Kim (73) was third on 7 under, with US. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer (67), World No 2 Jiyai Shin (69) and World No 4 Suzann Pettersen (70) tied together, a further shot back at 6 under.

Michelle Wie posted a 70 to tie for 12th at 3 under in a group that included the new World No 1 Cristie Kerr, who closed with a 71.

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