Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wegmans LPGA – Final Round

Lorena Ochoa parred the second playoff hole to defeat In-Kyung Kim and win the Wegmans LPGA. It is the third victory of 2007 for Ochoa and the first playoff victory of her career. Mi Hyun Kim finished third at -7, one shot out of the playoff. Cristie Kerr was fourth at -6 while Lindsay Wright and defending champion Jeong Jang were tied for fifth at -5.

The final pair of Ochoa and I.K. Kim could not get going early and allowed several players back into the hunt. By the end of the front nine, Ochoa was still in front but only at -8 (+1 on the day) with back and Angela Stanford and Mi Hyun Kim two behind. At 10, Lorena three-putted to fall back into a tie. Stanford hit the base of the flag at 11 but failed to convert the resulting 5-footer. Wright moved into the picture with the Shot of the Day – from about 130 yards away her approach at 12 took one hop into the hole, an eagle that put her at -6 and one shot back. At the par-5 11th, Ochoa mis-played her third and wound up with only par while I.K. sank a 4-footer for birdie to take the outright lead. Stanford started falling back when she took bogey at 13 after a poor tee shot. Peanut began to make a run with back-to-back 15-foot birdies at 14 and 15, getting her to -8. In the meantime, I.K. had dropped a 15-footer of her own at 13 to reach -9. Ochoa stopped the bleeding with a birdie of her own at 13 but gave it right when she three-putted 14. Suddenly #1 was three back with only four holes to play.

Peanut arrived at 18 trailing by one. As this course did many times this week, it once again turned the most accurate players into wayward ones. Driving into the left rough, Peanut had to punch out and got lucky when her ball struck one of the gallery boundary posts and bounced into the fairway. She played her third to about 30 feet away but couldn’t convert so she finished at -7. That gave I.K. a two-shot lead with two to play.

At 17, Ochoa suddenly became Ochoa again. Going for the green in two, she bounced it once off the greenside rough and the ball rolled to a stop about 12 feet away. I.K. had to punch out from the trees and then followed Lorena’s great shot with one of her own to about 8 feet. Ochoa stroked home the eagle and when I.K. missed her birdie try, the lead was one with one to go. On 18, Kim’s approach flew over the green into the rough. Lorena , from a good lie in the rough, landed about 15 feet from the hole. I.K. did a great job with her chip, winding up about four feet away. Ochoa couldn’t convert her birdie so Kim had that four feet to win. It lipped out.

They replayed 18 for the first playoff hole. Good tee shots were followed by good approaches but Kim was only 10 feet away. Ochoa’s 25-footer just broke beneath the hole. I.K. left hers on the high (right) side, so they went to the 10th. After Kim landed in the right rough, Ochoa put back the 3-wood and took driver. She sailed it to the right, winding up beside the cart path. With trees blocking her path, I.K. could only lay up to about 30 yards from the green. Ochoa had an open shot but came up just short of the green. I.K. didn’t have much green to work with and chipped about 15 feet past. Lorena chipped hers to about 18 inches, forcing Kim to make or break. I.K.’s attempt didn’t really come close, and Ochoa was the winner.

As usual I have a bit more to say but will save it for tomorrow.

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