Bae Wins Futures Tour Title In a New Hampshire
Remarkably, young Bae has the calm ability to hear it all and remain largely unaffected by her demonstrative dad. But on Sunday morning, it was the quiet voice of her mother that pulled her daughter aside before the final round and delivered three words: Just trust yourself.
When the $65,000 Laconia Savings Bank Futures Golf Classic ended with a nail-biting finish, Kyeong Bae, 20, waved for her mother to join her in the trophy photo. Mi Ja Kim, a former world-class table tennis player, politely bowed, waved off her daughter, then finally dashed to the green for the photo. The family portrait was snapped and Kyeong Bae's second season win was complete.
'It was fantastic,' said Bae of Seoul, Korea, who fired a three-under-par final round of 69 to win by one shot at 209 (-7). 'My mom arrived [in the United States] four days ago and she gave me really great important thoughts for today.'
For most of the round, however, it was not Bae who led the charge at the 6,283-yard Beaver Meadow Golf Course. Compatriot Bo Mi Suh, also of Seoul, entered today's final round with a two-shot lead, which she maintained for most of her front nine. But Suh spent the day wrestling with her approach shots, carding a final-round 74 (+2) with only one birdie and three bogeys -- the last an untimely blunder that cost Suh the tournament.
Throughout the afternoon, players had moved in and out of the shared lead alongside Suh, who scrambled for pars and gambled for birdies on her back nine. By the time Suh reached her 14th hole, Bae, Kristy McPherson of Conway, S.C., and top-ranked Seon-Hwa Lee of Chonan, Korea all were deadlocked with Suh at seven under par. Lee bogeyed the 15th hole to fall out of the lead, then Bae later bogeyed the same hole to leave only Suh and McPherson tied at the top.
But bogeys on 16 and 17 knocked McPherson out of the lead, handing Suh the lead alone once again. McPherson drained a 12-foot birdie on the 18th, but it was little consolation for missed par putts from two feet and eight feet on two of her last three holes.
'Those three holes -- 16, 17 and 18 -- are good holes, but of course I'm disappointed to take two bogeys in that stretch,' said McPherson, who shot a final-round 69 to tie for second at 210 (-6). 'I guess if you miss a two-footer, you can bogey any of them.'
After Lee's birdie attempt on the 18th hole spun out of the cup, ending her last chance to join the leaders, the only player standing between Suh and her first Futures Tour win was Bae. And as expected, the quietly tenacious Bae birdied the 16th hole from 27 feet to once again draw even with Suh for the lead at seven under.
'My direction on my iron shots was not good all day today, but I still thought I could win,' said Suh, 24, now in her fourth Futures Tour season.
Suh patiently plodded along, then watched as Bae gave back a shot with a bogey on the 17th hole when she misread her three-foot par putt and dropped to six-under par for the tournament.
'That made me mad,' said Bae. 'I had no choice but to be aggressive on the last hole.'
Suh held a one-stroke lead when their final group arrived at the par-four 18th tee. But when Suh's drive sailed into the right trees, Bae saw her opening. She knew if she made birdie on the final hole, she could force a playoff. What she didn't anticipate was that Suh might not be able to scramble, as she had all day, on this last hole.
Suh had played a similar punch shot out of the woods earlier in the round on the 10th hole to save par, so she felt confident standing over her second shot. But when her punched 7-iron landed 85 yards short of the hole, Suh knew she had to hit her sand wedge close. She knocked her shot to three feet and marked her ball to wait for Bae's putt.
Seeing Suh's trouble in the right trees, Bae steered her drive down the left side of the fairway on 18 and hit her approach shot to within 27 feet of the hole -- the same distance she'd had two holes earlier with her birdie putt on No. 16.
'I told myself to just try to make a good stroke on 18 like I had done on 16 -- to not be greedy, but to just make a good stroke,' said Bae.
And good stroke it was, rolling uphill on a double-breaking line and falling into the hole for birdie. Now, Suh had to make her three-footer for par to join Bae in a sudden-death playoff. But Suh's par putt stayed left of the hole, giving Bae the win with the two-shot swing.
'She's a good player, but I was surprised that she made that putt [on the 18th hole],' said Suh, who settled into a tie for second with McPherson and Lee at 210 (-6). 'I felt more pressure to make mine.'
And with her winner's check for $9,100, the Lakeland, Florida-based Bae moved into the No. 2 position on the season money list behind Lee.
All it took were a few quiet words of encouragement from her mom earlier in the day. That, and a little trust in herself when she needed it most.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.