Kangs Ace Beats Sorenstam in NY

By Sports NetworkMay 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
CORNING, N.Y. -- Jimin Kang used an ace on the par-three 15th Sunday to shoot a 6-under 66 and earn her first win at the LPGA Corning Classic. Kang completed the event at 15-under-par 273, two strokes clear of the field.
Meena Lee birdied four straight holes on the back nine Sunday, but double- bogeyed the final hole to finish two shots back at 13-under-par 275.
Jimin Kang
Jimin Kang aced the par-3 15th to hold off Annika Sorenstam and win the LPGA Corning Classic.
She was joined there by 2004 champion Annika Sorenstam. The Swede battled illness all week, but managed rounds of 68-67 over the weekend to end at minus-13. Moira Dunn and Hee-Won Han were two strokes further back at 11-under-par 277.
Kang, whose best previous finish on tour was a tie for 19th at the Michelob Ultra Open earlier this year, birdied the par-5 second at Corning Country Club for the third straight day to move to minus-10.
The Korean also birdied the par-5 fifth. Kang collected back-to-back birdies from the eighth to move to 12 under. She stumbled to a bogey on the 10th, but a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 12 moved her into a tie for the lead at 13 under with Karine Icher and Han.
Kang slipped to a bogey on the par-5 14th. She rebounded by holing out her 9-iron tee shot at the par-3 15th for a hole-in-one, to jump back into a tie for the lead at 14 under alongside Lee.
The 25-year-old Kang moved one stroke clear of Lee with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 16th. Lee then birdied 17 to forge one last tie at 15 under.
Kang parred the final hole. Lee, playing alongside Kang, stumbled to a double- bogey on the 72nd hole to fall two shots back and give Kang her first win on the LPGA Tour.
'Honestly, I'm trying to feel it. I won the tournament and I looked at the scoreboard and my name is on top and it's not coming yet,' said Kang. 'I hope the exciting feeling comes soon. Once the check goes into my bank, I might feel it.'
Kang had lost her card after the 2003 season, but earned the top spot on the 2004 Futures Tour money list thanks to two wins and eight top-10 finishes.
Lee, who had made the cut for just the fourth time in 10 starts this season, birdied three of her first six holes to move to minus-11. She faltered to a bogey on the eighth however.
The Korean dropped in a birdie putt on the 11th and made it two in a row with a birdie on 12. Lee birdied the 13th for the first time this week. She then birdied No. 14 to cap a run of four straight birdies that moved her to minus-14 and the outright lead. Kang's ace on 15 then set up the tight finish.
Sorenstam carded three bogeys and three birdies on the front nine to remain at minus-10. She birdied No. 12 for the third straight round. The Swede sank back-to-back birdies from the 16th to get to 13 under. She could only par the last to share second place.
'I did have a chance today, but I think I made a few too many mistakes on the front nine,' said Sorenstam. 'Obviously, I wish I would have felt a little better so I could have given it a little more, but I didn't have much more to give. It's just one of those times where the timing wasn't right to get a cold.'
Icher, who led after round three, struggled to a 2-over 74 in the final round. She shared sixth place at 10-under-par 278 with Liselotte Neumann (68) and Sung Ah Yim (69). Rosie Jones, Michelle Ellis and Sophie Gustafson were one stroke further back at minus-9.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.