Sunday, August 17, 2008

CN Canadian Women’s Open – Final Round

Katherine Hull proved me very wrong as she rallied from a six-shot overnight deficit to win the CN Canadian Women’s Open. Se Ri Pak finished in second place one shot behind at -10 while Yani Tseng was third at -9. Lorena Ochoa, Sun Young Yoo and Song-Hee Kim tied for fourth at -7.

I said last night that it was Tseng’s tournament to lose and that’s exactly what she did. Yani started the day up by four and led by five after a birdie at 4. Three straight bogeys at 5, 6 and 7 began the downfall. A birdie by Hull at 8 cut the lead to only one and another at 9 erased the deficit completely. Katherine stumbled by bogeying the par-5 10th and it appeared that Tseng was going to re-establish herself when she birdied the same to go back up by two. But Yani immediately gave it back – a double-bogey at 11 tied them at -10 with Pak only one shot behind.

Tseng bogeyed 12 to fall out of the tie, her fifth dropped shot in eight holes. Hull opened a two-shot advantage over both Tseng and Pak when she birdied 14. She parred the next three holes but neither Yani nor Se Ri could close the gap (Pak did birdie 17 but had already bogeyed 16). Katherine went to the par-5 18th still up by two but with her opponents’ length couldn’t relax even after making par. In the final group, Tseng and Pak could have tied with eagles but neither could manage it. Se Ri birdied the last to take second place.

While Tseng certainly made it possible (77 on Sunday) and Pak’s bogey at 16 and Ochoa’s second straight over-par round helped out too, let’s give Hull some credit for winning. Of the four players at the top of the board when the day began, Katherine was the only one to break par Sunday with her round of 69. With bogeys all over the course today, Hull only took one. The 26-year-old from Australia had only two Top 10 finishes previously this year and eight Top 10s in her five-year career. Her best finish had been in this very event – Hull was second to Meena Lee at the 2005 Canadian Open. Katherine gets the Big Surprise Award, hands down.

The TV coverage tonight will be on too late for me, and work will prevent me from watching until tomorrow night. I’m sure I’ll have lots for the Monday Epilogue.