Spain's Munoz wins LPGA Match Play crown

Spain's Azahara Munoz defeated Taiwan's Candie Kung 2 and 1 in Sunday's final to capture the $1.5 million LPGA Sybase Match-Play Championship and claim her first LPGA title.

With the match squared through 10 holes, Munoz birdied to win the par-5 11th and went 2-up when Kung dropped the par-3 12th with a bogey.

The Spaniard surrendered the par-4 14th with a bogey but won the par-3 16th with a bogey as Kung double bogeyed and when both parred the 17th, Munoz claimed her first tour crown.

Kung, who eliminated World No. 1 Yani Tseng in the third round, was denied her first LPGA victory since 2008.

In earlier semi-finals, 49th-ranked Kung defeated 37th-ranked US veteran Vicky Hurst 2 and 1 while 19th-rated Munoz ousted 15th-ranked American Morgan Pressel by the same margin to set up the final at Hamilton Farm Golf Club.

Munoz won the final three holes to eliminate Pressel, who has not won an LPGA event since 2008 and was undone by a slow-play penalty on the 12th hole.

Pressel won the par-5 second and fifth holes with birdies while Munoz won the par-3 third with a birdie. Pressel won the par-4 ninth with a birdie and appeared to have taken the 12th for a 3-up edge.

But Pressel, who was warned about slow play as she started the back nine, took 39 seconds more than the maximum 90 seconds to make her putt at the 12th and as a result forfeited the hole, her lead plunging to 1-up.

Munoz birdied the 15th to square the match, but only after Pressel asked for a penalty on her for touching the line of Pressel's putt. A video review by two officials led to a denial of the protest and Munoz then sank the 12-footer.

Pressel dropped the par-3 16th and par-4 17th with bogeys to send Munoz into the final.

Pressel beat Hurst 2 and 1 in a match for third place.

Kung birdied to win the par-4 sixth and never surrendered the lead against Hurst. Kung and Hurst exchanged pars to win holes at nine and 10, but Kung then won the par-5 11th when Hurst made bogey and took the par-3 12th with a birdie.

Hurst birdied the par-4 13th to win the hole, but Kung took the par-4 14th when Hurst bogeyed. Hurst answered with back-to-back birdies to win the par-4 15th and par-3 16th only to have Kung win the 17th with a birdie to advance.

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