Kim Denies Gulbis in Playoff

By Sports NetworkJuly 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
2004 Jamie Farr Owens ClassicTOLEDO, Ohio -- With a long birdie putt at the third playoff hole Sunday, Mi Hyun Kim denied Natalie Gulbis her first LPGA Tour title and won the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
For Kim, the victory was her second this season and the seventh of her career. For Gulbis, the runner-up finish extended her winless drought to 123 starts on the LPGA Tour.
Mi Hyun Kim
Mi Hyun Kim birdies the third playoff hole to win the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Kim came from as many as four shots back to tie Gulbis for the lead, making three birdies on the back nine in her final round, including two straight at the 16th and 17th holes.
Gulbis, who played the front nine at 5-under-par 29, made a spectacular birdie at the 10th, then parred her final eight holes to tie Kim at 18-under-par 266 for the tournament.
Both players shot 6-under 66 in the final round -- setting up the dramatic sudden-death playoff.
Kim gave Gulbis two good chances to end the playoff on the first two extra holes -- played at the par-5 18th and 17th holes -- by hitting the rough with her drive both times.
Barely 5-feet tall, Kim struggles out of the long grass, but managed to make two pars.
Gulbis found the fairway on the first two playoff holes, then missed birdie putts of 18 feet and 12 feet -- sending the playoff back to the 18th hole for the second time.
There, both players found the rough off the tee. Kim got lucky with her second shot, just flying a creek that runs through the fairway, while Gulbis knocked hers to the center of the fairway.
After Kim landed her approach in the middle of the green, Gulbis stuck hers inside her opponent's to about 15 feet.
Kim then cooly rolled in her birdie putt. Gulbis missed hers just right.
Kim won the Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open in April and has seven other top-10 finishes this season, outside of her two victories. She claimed $180,000 for the win Sunday.
Gulbis' loss is the latest disappointing chapter in what has been a promising, yet fruitless, four-year LPGA career.
The woman with her own reality show -- and more than $2.2 million in career earnings entering this week -- was running away with the tournament early Sunday after the third round was completed in the morning.
She began the final round in a tie with Kim for the lead. Gulbis opened with back-to-back pars on her first two holes, then collected five consecutive birdies.
Gulbis went pin-seeking during her birdie spurt, knocking approaches within 12 inches at the third and within seven feet at both the fourth and the sixth holes.
Gulbis also rolled in birdie putts of 15 feet at the fifth and 12 feet at the seventh -- the last of which put her at 17 under for a four-shot lead.
But, ironically, her birdie streak ended when she actually hit a pin at the par-3 eighth. The ball landed a foot past the hole, then spun back far enough away that Gulbis settled for a par.
Kim made birdie at the eighth and ninth to get to minus-15 and within two shots. Two holes later, Gulbis nearly aced the par-3 10th on the way to another birdie.
But that's when the momentum shifted.
Kim also birdied the 10th to remain within two shots, and she had more red numbers up her sleeve. After collecting a fifth birdie with an 18-inch putt at the 16th, Kim rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at the 17th to tie Gulbis for the lead.
Gulbis hit a thin approach shot at 17 and landed short of the green in the rough. At the 18th, she missed an 18-foot birdie try after Kim couldn't convert on a 25-foot try.
Now in her fifth season, Gulbis has challenged often without a win. She had a career year in 2005, when she ranked sixth on the money list with just over $1 million, and now has six top-10 finishes this season.
Gulbis' winless drought is far from an LPGA record (Carolyn Hill went 359 starts before winning the 1994 McCall's LPGA Classic) but still -- a title eludes her.
Paula Creamer made a run at the lead, but finished one shot back at 17-under-par 267 to take third place. Creamer birdied four straight holes from the 14th and fired a 6-under 65 in her final round.
Se Ri Pak, a four-time winner here, shot a 5-under 66 in her final round and finished in fourth place at minus-16. Reilley Rankin was fifth at 12 under, and Brittany Lang and Sung Ah Yim shared sixth one shot further back.
World No. 1 Annika Sorenstam closed with a 1-under 70 in her final round and took eighth place at minus-9.
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.

    CME Group Tour Championship: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the CME Group Tour Championship

    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.

    RSM Classic: Articles, photos and videos

    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic

    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''