GOLF: Davies keeps up standards

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The Independent Online

Britain's Laura Davies outlasted the American Beth Daniel to win her second consecutive US LPGA Standard Register Ping Championship in Phoenix with a 12-under-par total of 280.

Davies bogeyed the last two holes for a par 73, but she had a big enough lead to beat Daniel by one stroke and win her ninth US title and 34th in total.

Davies had defeated Daniel and Elaine Crosby by four shots with a 277 total here last year, finishing top of the US LPGA money list as well as second to Daniel for the player of the year award.

Davies won $105,000 (£70,000) this time, moving from 10th to second in the earnings list with $156,932 in four tournaments.

Daniel shot a 72 for a total of 281. She won $65,165 for her third second- place finish in four attempts and is now top of the earnings list with $183,041.

Ward, a senior student at the nearby Arizona State University, birdied the final hole to finish third equal with Katie Peterson-Parker, Joan Pitcock and Rosie Jones on 283. Mitzi Edge was next on 284, with Annika Sorenstam and Jane Geddes on 285.

Davies was level-par until the 13th hole, where she also started her charge in the third round. She birdied the 480-yard par-five for the second time in two days and dropped to 13 under.

The pivotal hole was the 15th. Daniel pulled her tee-shot into the rough, was short with her second shot and had to sink a seven-foot putt to save par. Meanwhile, Davies reached the green in regulation and rolled in a five-foot putt for a birdie and a two-shot lead.

At the 16th, Davies was in the rough off the tee but she ripped a long iron shot to the fairway directly in front of the green, chipped up and made a three-foot putt for par.

Daniel, who was on the fairway, hit her approach shot into long grass on the back of the green and left herself a six-foot putt for par. Daniel missed, Davies had a three-stroke lead, and her bogeys at the 17th and 18th holes did not affect the outcome.