Monday, May 28, 2007

Corning Classic – Final Round

Young Kim posted a 68 for the third time in four days to win the LPGA Corning Classic by three strokes. It is the first career victory for Kim (-20) in her five years on Tour, making her the fifth first-time winner of 2007. Mi Hyun Kim and Paula Creamer tied for second at –17, while Beth Bader and In-Kyung Kim tied for fourth at –16.

I’ll start by letting you know that thanks to CBS moving its coverage of the PGA over to TGC, I missed the final four holes. I’ll do the best I can…Young Kim opened up a three shot lead midway on the front nine, but beginning at 8 she started pulling shots left which resulted in two bogeys to finish the frontside. Creamer birdied the 8th and when Mi Hyun Kim birdied 10, the three were tied. At 10, YK recovered nicely from the left rough but just missed a 10-foot birdie putt. Peanut canned one from inside 10 feet at 12 to take the outright lead. Creamer responded when she also birdied 12. At 13, Young really made a statement. She had lost her approach to the right and bounced up off a tree. With little green to work, she chipped to about 15 feet and drained the big putt for par, keeping her within one stroke.

14 was the difference. Peanut missed a par attempt from six feet to fall one back of Creamer. Paula misplayed her layup shot, leaving it in the left side rough. Her third flew to the back fringe and the long birdie try down the hill came up 10 feet short. She missed the par putt to create a three-way tie again. Meanwhile, YK had stuck her third about two feet away and when she dropped the putt she was alone in first again at –19. At 16, Peanut dropped to two back with another bogey. After putting a 3-wood to within two feet, YK birdied 17 to go up by two on Creamer and virtually put it on ice.

Beth Bader edges out In-Kyung Kim for the Big Surprise award for finishing T4. This was only the third career Top 10 for Beth in her seven years on Tour and beats her best career finish by one spot. I didn’t write too much about Beth above because while she never dropped more than a couple of shots out, she wasn’t able to make any putts to take charge. Ikky was only the third-best Kim in the field this week (the Kims slaughtered the Lees this time), but she certainly deserves an honorable mention. Grace Park closed out with a 70 to finish T11, just missing that Top 10 but her best week since 2005. Reluctantly, I’ll give the Big Disappointment to Young Jo. She missed the cut by 11 shots after playing great last week. For the first time this year, one of my CYA picks brought home the trophy. All three of my choices came in sixth or better so maybe the Hound Dog Jinx is over…

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