When Mi Hyun Kim missed a putt for par on the final regulation hole of the SemGroup Championship Presented by John Q. Hammons Sunday, she knew she was headed to a playoff with one of the LPGA Tour's most experienced players, Hall of Famer Juli Inkster.
But Kim was able to seize victory at Tulsa's Cedar Ridge Country Club with par on the first extra hole for her eighth tour win and first of the 2007 season.
"I played with Juli the last couple of days ... and really enjoyed it," Kim told reporters. "When I play with Juli Inkster, I'm not trying to beat her. I want to more study from her maybe. She always practices hard, and I think her mind is so good, so I want to learn from her amazing mind."
Inkster out drove Kim on the playoff hole at 18 but found the rough behind the green. Kim also went over the green, hitting the fringe. Inkster chipped and pushed her six-foot par putt right, giving Kim the chance to two-putt for par and the win.
Kim, whose playoff record was 0-3 in her first eight years on tour, improved her record to 2-3. Inkster's fell to 6-3.
"I don't know if it was adrenaline or what, but I just hit it too far and didn't get it up and down," Inkster told the media. "Kind of disappointing. But, you know, I played well all week. Felt like there was some good things going on out there."
Kim began the day one shot behind leaders Nicole Castrale, Stephanie Louden, Reilley Rankin and Karin Sjodin, who were all going for their first LPGA Tour victories. Inkster started three shots off the pace after a hot start that saw her sink to consecutive birdie putts on holes one and two.
Kim made a 12-foot birdie putt on the second hole to move to 4-under-par but dropped to 2-under at the turn with bogeys on holes four and nine. Inkster took a share of the lead on six by going to 4-under with a 12-foot birdie putt.
Sjodin was ahead with Inkster until a triple bogey on eight brought her to 1-under and out of contention. Inkster struggled on the back nine with bogeys on 14 and 17 to fall back to 2-under. Kim birdied the 11th hole, and Inkster came back to shoot 1-under on 18.
Kim then birdied 16 to take the lead going into the last two holes but missed a five-foot putt for par on 18 to force the playoff with Inkster.
Louden ended up tied for fifth with Rankin, Lorena Ochoa and Young Kim. Castrale finished tied for ninth; Sjodin tied for 19th.
May 7, 2007
Anyone looking back at the final scores of the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's will almost certainly come to the wrong conclusion that this was a comfortable three-shot win for Catriona Matthew. It was anything but as the seemingly imperturbable Scot struggled to hit a fairway throughout the final round and was only rescued by some superb recovery shots and a bunch of astonishing long putts.
... full article »