Pettersen defends title in Taiwan LPGA event
A handout picture taken and released by Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship on October 27, 2013 shows Suzann Pettersen of Norway posing with the winner's trophy after winning the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship in Yangmei, Taoyuan county
"It feels great to come here and defend my title and play as well as I did," the Norwegian said after the tournament.
The win -- the first time she has had to defend a title -- helped boost Pettersen's bid to catch Rolex ranking world number one Park In-Bee, who finished a disappointing 28th at last week's KEB-HanaBank Championship in South Korea and skipped the Taiwan event.
"Yeah, being number two is pretty much the first loser and I've been number two behind four great number ones. I've been the number behind Annika (Sorenstam). I was number two behind Lorena (Ochoa). I was number two behind Ya-ni (Tseng) and I'm two behind In-bee," Pettersen said.
"I didn't feel quite ready to take on that role. Now, I feel my game is progressing. It's getting stronger. I think personally, mentally, I'm ready to take on number one... That's my drive, that's my goal."
The 32-year-old had a tough Saturday when she carded one-over 73, narrowing her lead to four strokes ahead of Azahara Munoz, Yoo Sun-Young and Carlota Ciganda.
While admitting wind had given her difficulty at the Sunrise Golf & Country Club in northern Taiwan since teeing off Thursday, Pettersen said that on Sunday Munoz presented an "even bigger challenge".
"She played really good on the front nine well, she played really good all around. I think I can almost thank her for keep pressing and keep pushing me because I just had to keep staying aggressive and trying to make birdies," Pettersen said.
Pettersen carded three birdies in the last nine holes to offset the pressure when Munoz was four under through 12 holes.
Munoz said she "misjudged the wind a little" but added: "I played really well and I had a chance and I'm happy with my week".
Caroline Hedwall of Sweden came in third with 286 stokes, followed by Ji Eun-Hee of South Korea who carded 287.
Taiwanese star Tseng Ya-ni, the former world number one who has won 15 career LPGA titles at age 24, carded an even-par 72 for an aggregate 298, ranking 40th.
A total of 78 players competed in the four-day event, which had a top prize of $300,000.