Lorena Ochoa cruised to an 11-shot victory at the Corona Championship, clinching entry into the LPGA Hall of Fame by winning in her home country. Song-Hee Kim finished second at –14, Inbee Park and Karine Icher tied for third at –13 while Carin Koch and Na Yeon Choi finished fifth at -12.
Ochoa made the turn at -24, within three of the LPGA record low of -27 set by Annika Sorenstam at the 2001 Standard Register Ping (the same event she shot 59). A triple-bogey 7 at 11 ended that possibility but birdies at 13, 14 and 16 recovered those three strokes in a flash and another at 18 totaled -25. Second place appeared to belong to Park, who was -17 through 11 holes. Bogeys at 13 and 16 opened the door and Kim birdied 18 to draw within one. A double-bogey at 18 by Park handed Song-Hee the runner-up slot and cost Inbee nearly $43,000.
Along with Koch’s blistering 66, good Sunday runs were made by Kristy McPherson (66 -9 7th) and Nina Reis (68 -5 T9). Sophie Giquel (76 -4 T11) and Jill McGill (77 +1 T29) slipped backwards. Brittany Lincicome (-2 T15) and Hee-Won Han (-1 T20) both wound up with pretty good finishes, but not what most of us expected from them in a weak field. Overcoming a couple dozen potential candidates, this week’s Big Surprise is Song-Hee Kim, whose great finish is the first Top 10 of her career. The Big Disappointment is difficult for the opposite reason – I’ll go with Minea Blomqvist (+7 T43), since I had her pegged for a Top 5 finish.
I’ll talk more about Ochoa’s accomplishment in tomorrow’s epilogue but wanted to point out something a few of us were discussing in the comments of this morning’s post. I’m not hammering you, Galley – somebody wrote something a few weeks ago and you read it. A “professional golf writer” or a “blogger in his mother’s basement” makes a statement that thousands of people are going to read, it ought to be true. Lorena piled up 27 points in 5+ LPGA seasons, and some of the sport’s less thoughtful scribes believe that means it has become too easy to qualify for the Hall of Fame. If it IS too easy an accomplishment, why are Laura Davies and Meg Mallon the only players currently within a dozen points of achieving it? Those other good-to-great players who started their LPGA careers in 2003 or just prior – Natalie Gulbis, Dorothy Delasin, Mi Hyun Kim – why are they not closing in on 27 if it is so easy?