Maria Hjorth sank a clutch downhill eight-foot slider to capture the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, FL. She dropped her putter and lifted her arms with joy before her baby daughter Emily gave her a congratulatory hug. (Kodak moment!)
Hjorth shot a final round even-par 72, five-under 283 for the tournament to edge out Amy Yang, who held the 36-hole lead, by one shot. Yang drained a huge 20-footer on 18 for birdie to put the pressure on Hjorth, forcing her to make her par putt.
Despite a costly quadruple-bogey on No. 4, Yang battled back with four birdies on the back side, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Hjorth’s performance.
Other than Paula Creamer’s three-under victory at the US Women’s Open, Hjorth’s five-under was the highest winning score on the LPGA tour this year.
It was Hjorth’s fourth LPGA win and first since 2007.
In-Kyung Kim and Cristie Kerr tied for third at two-under. Meanwhile, Na Yeon Choi and Laura Diaz T5 at one-under. Choi clinched the money title and Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average.
Yani Tseng, who won the Kraft Nabisco and Women’s British Open, was awarded the prestigious Player of the Year Award. In an emotional speech, Tseng fought back tears on the 18th green as she thanked her parents. She becomes the first player from Taiwan to win POY.