Taking place at the Pinnacle Country Club this passed weekend was the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship which Na Yeon Choi of South Korea took the lead this year with 15-under, just a 2 shot difference from Mika Miyazato who was at 13-under for second place and Azahara Munoz, Anna Nordqvist and Stacy Lewis taking 3rd.
As Na Yeon Choi approached her second shot at the 16th hole in Sunday’s final round fans at the 17th hole never knew what was going on as she quickly took the lead from Lewis as she holed out for eagle on the 16th, then nearly aced the par-3 17th to post a come-from behind two-stroke victory.
Lewis (Arkansas Razorbacks) led by one shot when she stuck her tee shot 6 feet behind the hole at 17, moments before Choi, playing in the final group, launched an 8-iron on the par-4 16th that bounced once and into the hole for an eagle that catapulted her into the lead at 14 under.
Lewis, unaware of what happened behind her, missed her attempt at birdie, which would have kept her tied for the lead. Further, she didn’t know more bad news was on the way as she prepared to tee off on the 18th.
Choi stuck another 8-iron dagger, this one within a foot at the par-3 17th, setting up a tap-in birdie that would take her to her winning 15-under score..
“If someone asked me what’s your favorite club I always answer the 8-iron,” Choi said. “So I like that club and when I pull the 8-iron I always feel good.”
Choi went from a one-shot deficit into a two-shot lead in mere minutes, leaving Lewis needing a miracle 18th-hole eagle to forge a tie.
But Lewis, a two-time major champion who hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour since last year’s Northwest Arkansas Championship, laid up from 210 yards with her second shot on the par-5 finishing hole, missed the green with her third and ended up with a bogey to drop into a tie for third place at 12 under.
Lewis’ playing partner Mika Miyazato birdied two of her final three holes to finish second outright at 13 under.
Lewis finished tied with Azahara Munoz and Anna Nordqvist for third. World No. 2 Lydia Ko fired a final-round 63 to move from 40th into a tie for sixth.