South Korean Park In-bee captured her fifth LPGA Tour win of the season in Mexico on Sunday, putting herself in the thick of the race for a major season-ending individual award.
Park, world No. 2, claimed the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at 18-under 270, following a bogey-free final round of eight-under 64 at Club de Golf Mexico in Mexico City.
Park fended off a red-hot Carlota Ciganda, who came up three shots behind despite a blistering final round of 63.
With the victory, Park moved to 270 points in the Player of the Year points race, only three back of world No. 1 Lydia Ko with one tournament remaining, the CME Group Tour Championship that starts Thursday in Naples, Florida.
A victory is worth 30 points and a runner-up finish is worth 12 points, and so forth. Points are doubled at the Tour Championship.
Ko sat out the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, citing fatigue.
Park also moved ahead of Ko in the scoring average, 69.433 strokes to 69.449 strokes per round.
Park opened the final round with a three-shot lead over South Korean rookie Kim Sei-young. Yet, it was Ciganda, playing in the final group with Park and Kim, who mounted the biggest threat Sunday, as she started the day with a birdie and an eagle and trailed Park by just one shot at 12-under at the turn.
Park birdied the par-4 13th to reach 16-under and move ahead of Ciganda by two strokes, but Ciganda kept the pressure on with a birdie on the par-3 14th that cut the deficit back to one.
After both players parred par-4 15th, Ciganda blinked on the 16th.
She found trouble off the tee at the par-3 hole and committed her first bogey of the day. Park picked up a par for a two-shot lead with two holes to play.
Both Park and Ciganda had birdies at the par-5 17th, and Park punctuated her victory with her eighth birdie of the round at the par-4 18th. (Yonhap)