Pak Wins Over Waugh in Playoff

By Sports NetworkApril 27, 2003, 4:00 pm
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- Se Ri Pak birdied the fourth extra hole to defeat Shani Waugh in a playoff and win the Chick-Fil-A Charity Championship. Pak shot an 8-under 64 Sunday to finish along side Waugh at 16-under-par 200.
Waugh closed with a 7-under 65 to get into the playoff.
Both players birdied the 18th, which was the first extra hole. They moved onto No. 10 where they both parred as Waugh nearly holed her second shot, but her ball spun off the green. She then two-putted from there for par.
On the third extra hole, which was the 18th, Waugh knocked her fairway wood over the green but got up-and-down for birdie. Pak lost her second shot to the par-5 well right. After a free drop, she chipped on and converted her birdie putt.
They two returned to the 18th tee for the fourth extra hole. Waugh pulled her drive left into the water, while Pak's drive ended in the first cut of rough on the right side.
Waugh knocked her third into the front bunker, before blasting to about seven feet. It would not matter though.
'A bad swing. I don't think I was tired, I think it was just a fast swing,' said Waugh of her tee shot on the last playoff hole. 'I really worked hard on that bunker shot. I wanted to get it close, if not make it.'
Pak knocked her second shot over the green. Her chip shot rolled about 15 feet past the cup. She drained the putt for the win, her second victory of the season and 20th of her career.
'Those were some amazing up-and-downs,' said Pak, who earned $202,500 for the victory. 'I impressed myself. I really worked hard for those. My putting saved the day.'
Pak also raised her mark to 4-0 lifetime in playoffs.
'I really like the challenge,' Pak said. 'A lot of pressure makes me play much better. I don't know the reason, but I enjoy it.'
The South Korean began her final round with three straight birdies from the par-4 first. She settled down to par the final six holes on the front side.
'I was pretty happy on the first three holes, making birdie,' said Pak. 'My putting today was much more solid.'
Around the turn, Pak carded her lone bogey of the day at the par-4 10th. She atoned for that mistake in a big way. When Pak rolled in a birdie putt at the par-3 11th, it began a run of four straight birdies. The last of those four birdies gave her a one-shot lead.
Pak maintained her lead with another birdie at the par-3 16th. She birdied the 18th just ahead of Waugh to create the playoff.
'I made the birdie putt on No. 18. That was one of the best putts I've ever had,' said Pak. 'I was hoping for a playoff myself.'
Waugh had an eventful round with just five pars. She birdied the first two holes, but lost her momentum as she bogeyed the third and fourth to fall back to even par for the round.
The Australian ran off three straight birdies from the par-4 fifth to get to minus-12. After three consecutive pars, Waugh birdied the par-3 11th.
However, she dropped a shot at the next. Waugh responded by birdieing the par- 5 13th. Waugh parred Nos. 14 and 15, to set up her late run. She closed with three straight birdies to force the playoff with Pak.
For Waugh, this was her best career finish on the LPGA Tour.
'I think I would be really disappointed if I left the LPGA without a win,' said Waugh. 'I had a great chance to make that step today. The experience I've gained today, should give me other chances to win tournaments.'
Suzann Pettersen, who held the lead after a stellar 7-under 29 on the front-nine, finished alone in third place at 12-under-par 204 after a 5-under 67 Sunday. Meg Mallon ended one shot further back at minus-11.
Sophie Gustafson and Pat Hurst shared fifth place at 10-under-par 206.
Michelle Wie, the 13-year-old amateur from Hawaii, finished at 3-under-par 213 in a tie for 33rd in her second event on the LPGA Tour.
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    Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

    PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

    She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

    “I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

    Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

    “Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

    She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

    “I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

    Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

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    “Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

    She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

    “They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

    Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

    While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

    “Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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    Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

    PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

    In fact, she named her “Mona.”

    For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

    While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

    And that has her excited about this year.

    Well, that and having a healthy back again.

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    “I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

    Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

    Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

    She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

    Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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    Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

    By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

    PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

    Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

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    Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

    Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

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    Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

    PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

    With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

    After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

    “I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

    It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

    Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

    “It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

    Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

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    Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

    “Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

    Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

    Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

    “It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

    Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

    “This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

    Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.