Monday, June 30, 2008

U.S. Open – Final Round

Inbee Park withstood the tougher conditions at Interlachen Sunday to win the U.S. Women’s Open. The four-shot victory is the first of her LPGA career, which began only last year. Helen Alfredsson finished in second place at -5 while Angela Park, In-Kyung Kim and Stacy Lewis were tied for third at -4.

Higher winds turned the scores into ones more identified with an Open championship. Amateur Jessica Korda was the only player in the 60s and only seven other players broke par. Park was one of them – her 71 made her the only player under par all four days. Birdies on the first two holes put her at -9 and into the lead when Lewis double-bogeyed 2. Inbee bogeyed 6 and 8 to fall back to -7, but by then her closest competitors had given shots back to the course as well. Alfredsson bogeyed 3, 4 and 5; Inky bogeyed 3, 5, 6 and 8; Paula Creamer’s demise was especially swift with double-bogeys at 2 and 9 and bogeys at 6 and 8. Park put everyone away with birdies at 11 and 13, opening up a four-shot lead and she cruised all the way home.

Guilia Sergas and Nicole Castrale took advantage of everyone else’s misfortune by breaking par and moved into a tie for sixth with Creamer and Mi Hyun Kim. Maria Uribe carded a 75 but still managed T10 and finished as the low amateur by four shots over Korda. For that feat, Uribe shares my Big Surprise Award for the week with Stacy Lewis. Stacy saved us the argument over whether she would have been the first pro to win her first pro event but finishing third is still an amazing accomplishment. The Big Disappointment is Juli Inkster, who missed the cut by five shots.

Thanks to Inbee for making my inability to document Sunday’s play-by-play a moot point. For a real-time look at how it played out, check out Stu's report at Waggle Room. I was able to watch about 30 minutes of action and saw Annika Sorenstam’s final shot at a U.S. Open. If you saw it too, I doubt you’ll ever forget it. I’ll try to put up a clip of it in the next day or two.