Rookie M.J. Hur wins Safeway Classic in playoff with Suzann Pettersen

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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NORTH PLAINS, Ore. - Long after she earned her first trophy on the LPGA Tour, shook hands with countless tournament organizers and fielded questions from the media, rookie M.J. Hur returned to the 18th green at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
There, the winner of the Safeway Classic signed autographs for about 50 fans.
The South Korean made a six-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to beat Suzann Pettersen for her first tour victory.
Hur pumped her fist and broke into giggles after sinking the putt on the par-4 No. 17 hole. Then fellow tour player and best friend Haeji Kang chased the South Korean around the green, trying to douse her with champagne.
Hur's laughter continued unabated when she was finally caught. The tears of joy didn't come until she hugged her mother.
Hur shot a final-round 65, while Pettersen and veteran Michele Redman each shot a 67 to finish at 13-under 203 and set up the playoff.
Redman, whose last tour victory came in 2000, was knocked out when she missed a short putt for par on the first playoff hole, the par-4 No. 18.
Hur, who competed on the Futures Tour last season, had played in 13 previous tournaments this season, making the cut six times.
Alena Sharp of Hamilton shot 72 to finish 11 shots back, while Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., hit 74 to tie for 65th.
After a foot-long putt for par to finish her round, Hur quickly exited the course. But rather than retreat somewhere to watch Pettersen and Redman finish their rounds, she hung out in the clubhouse before heading for the putting green.
Pettersen and Redman each birdied No. 17 to help set up the playoff.
Just 19, Hur wasn't nervous. When asked why not, she shrugged and said, "I don't know."
Pettersen's putt for birdie on the second playoff hole missed to the left, opening the door for Hur to clinch it.
"It was a good putt but it just didn't break, so it's disappointing," she said. "But this is what we work for, and I guess there's next week."
Pettersen had four straight birdies to surge atop the leaderboard and at one point take a three-stroke lead, but a double bogey on the par-5 No. 15 hurt her.
The native of Norway had not won since 2007, when she had five victories. She was a runner-up at the Corona Championship earlier this year and had eight top-10 finishes before Sunday.
"I've hoisted a lot of trophies in my head," she said. "All I can do is just keep plugging along."

Organizations: Safeway, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Futures Tour

Geographic location: NORTH PLAINS, Kelowna, Norway

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