(Reuters) - Suzann Pettersen paid tribute to new coach Butch Harmon after winning the Manulife LPGA Classic by a stroke in Ontario on Sunday.
The 34-year-old from Norway countered a sizzling charge by American Brittany Lang with a late birdie run of her own to secure the victory in breezy conditions on the Whistle Bear course in Cambridge.
With Lang already in the clubhouse after a brilliant seven-under-par 65, Pettersen made a tap-in birdie at the par-five 16th to tie and then a five-footer at the 17th to regain the lead.
A tap-in par at the last gave Pettersen her 15th LPGA victory, and her first in two years.
“I’m so glad I made a move to go to Butch,” Pettersen told Golf Channel after shooting a 69 for a 22-under 266 total. “I feel like it’s better than it’s ever been and thank Butch for believing in me.”
Harmon, who began working with Pettersen late last year, is the instructor who guided Tiger Woods during the first six years of Woods’ professional career.
Pettersen started the final round with a one-stroke lead, but fell back with two early bogeys.
“I kept digging deep and finished strong, and I feel like I played really good golf this week,” she said.
“It’s nice to be back. There’s probably been some tears of pain, feeling like you’re bouncing your head against the wall with injuries.”
Runner-up Lang thought she would at least get into a playoff after three straight birdies from the 15th, but watched helplessly as Pettersen responded.
“I hit great shots under pressure. Can’t be mad about that,” Lang, 29, who finished runner-up at the 2005 U.S. Women’s Open while still an amateur.
”A little let down when I heard she birdied 16 and 17. That’s really good golf. She deserves it.”
Lang has notched only one LPGA victory, in this event three years ago at a different course, but she is confident of adding to her total soon.
“I’ve been playing really good lately and finally put it together. I got some new equipment and I’m hitting it a little bit longer.”
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene Cherry