Tseng takes major glory as Stupples fades away

YANI Tseng took the first women's major of the year, winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship as overnight leader Karen Stupples faded over the final round in California.

England's Stupples, the 2004 Women's British Open champion, had taken a one-shot lead into the final round at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage after rounds of 69, 69 and 68 had left her at ten under par, however a closing round of 78 scuppered her hopes.

Reigning Women's British Open Champion, Scotland's Catriona Matthew, was one over for her final round and one under for the week to claim a tie for 15th.

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Stupples' demise left Taiwan-born Tseng and Suzann Pettersen of Norway to duel it out for the title after both had started a shot behind the leader following rounds of 67 on Saturday.

Tseng struck the first blow when she chipped in for eagle at the par-five second as both Stupples and Pettersen birdied and she added two more birdies while the Norwegian bogeyed the par-four sixth. Both birdied the par-five 11th and Tseng gave Pettersen hope when she bogeyed the par-four 12th to close the gap to four strokes.

As Tseng parred her way home, Pettersen closed the gap further with a birdie at the 16th but when she pulled her approach shot at the 18th hole wide of the green it left her needing to chip in for eagle to have a hope of forcing a play-off. Pettersen's effort came close but stayed out of the hole and Tseng was left with two putts for victory, sending her lag putt to within inches before tapping in.

Korea's Song-hee Kim took third place at nine under following a 70, while world No 1 Lorena Ochoa was one over for the day to finish in fourth at six under.