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September 8, 2009

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Pettersen picks up first victory in nearly 2 years

SUZANN Pettersen closed with a 1-under 70 for a five-shot victory at the Canadian Women's Open, her first LPGA Tour win in nearly two years.

The Norwegian star vowed not to play conservatively with a five-shot lead heading into the final round on Sunday in Priddis, Alberta. She made good, keeping that margin over Momoko Ueda (65), Morgan Pressel (66), Ai Miyazato (67), Karrie Webb (69) and Angela Stanford (70).

"To finally close the deal again feels really good," Pettersen said. "I remember what it feels like again."

Pettersen's past couple years on tour had been known for near-misses, with six runner-up finishes - including a playoff loss in Portland last weekend.

She earned US$412,500 for dominating a field that featured the top 75 money-winners on tour.

The 28-year-old was the most consistent golfer at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club all week, scoring well in the wind on Thursday and Saturday before finishing strong on Sunday.

"You've got to believe you can do it," she said. "Don't fear anything, the door is wide open. You've just got to keep doing what you're doing. In that way, I usually use a lot of other sports and performances in kind of an inspirational way."

Despite the large margin of victory, Pettersen had some tense moments midway through the final round. Her lead over Webb had been whittled down to three shots by the 10th, where Pettersen missed the green with her approach shot.

She responded by calmly draining her chip before picking up birdies at the next two holes to restore her big lead.

No one else mounted much of a challenge.

"This is obviously not a major win on paper, but for me this means as much," Pettersen said.

It was her sixth career victory on tour.


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