Creamer Falls Short at Corning

RSS

2006 Corning ClassicCORNING, N.Y. -- On the course, Young Kim wears a hat pulled low over her eyes to shield her face from the sun. On Sunday, the hat served another purpose -- it hid tears of joy.
 
In the aftermath of her first LPGA victory, a three-shot win at the Corning Classic, the hat also blocked a spray of soda showered on her by fellow South Koreans Mi Hyun Kim and In-Kyung Kim.
 
'I cannot believe it,' said Young Kim, whose breakthrough triumph came in her 103rd start. 'I cannot say anything. Too much good.'
 
Young Kim overcame consecutive bogeys before the turn, then rallied with two birdies over the final five holes for a 4-under 68 to beat Paula Creamer (71) and Mi Hyun Kim (70).
 
Beth Bader (72), also bidding for her first victory, made double bogey on the final hole to finish in a tie for fourth with rookie In-Kyung Kim (69) at 16-under. It was a career-best finish for Bader.
 
Young Kim finished at 20-under 268, four shots off the tournament record set four years ago by Juli Inkster. She won $195,000, more than doubling her season winnings to $328,442, just outside the top 10.
 
The 20-year-old Creamer, bidding for her second victory of the year and fourth of her brief career, couldn't duplicate the charge she made at the end of the third round when she finished with consecutive birdies to tie Bader and Young Kim for the lead.
 
'I tried,' said Creamer, who hit only 6 of 14 fairways a day after not missing any. 'Nothing really clicked. To tie for second and be in contention the way I played to me is good confidence-wise. That was hard. It was a difficult day.'
 
After making just one bogey over the first three rounds, Kim seemed destined to fall apart after making two more at Nos. 8 and 9.
 
But after Creamer took a one-shot lead with a birdie at the par-5 12th, she botched her approach shot at No. 14 and made bogey, three-putting from 45 feet when the sloping green proved too tricky.
 
'You don't miss laying up,' said Creamer, who played the tournament for the first time. 'That's no good.'
 
Young Kim, who had nailed her third shot within a foot of the hole, easily made birdie to take a one-shot lead over Creamer, Bader and Mi Hyun Kim.
 
Young Kim followed that with a nice par save at the par-3 15th after her tee shot landed in a greenside bunker. And when Creamer's 7-foot birdie putt at the hole lipped out, her momentum was gone.
 
Kim sealed the victory when her second shot at No. 17 stopped a foot from the hole for an easy birdie, and Creamer's birdie try lipped the cup and slid past.
 
'That was hard,' Creamer said. 'I made a great putt. I don't know how it didn't go in.'
 
Creamer, who gave her 89-year-old grandfather a hug after she teed off to start the round, ran into trouble at No. 6, a 307-yard dogleg left that curls down a steep hill. She hit 4-iron off the tee and landed behind a towering oak. After switching clubs three times, her second shot caromed off the base of the tree and stopped next to a dirt path. She managed to roll her third shot near the green, chipped well past the hole and made double bogey.
 
Young Kim sank a 24-foot downhill putt at No. 7 to take a three-shot lead, and when Creamer's short birdie putt lipped out, she shook her head in disbelief.
 
Just when Young Kim was poised to take control, her second shot at No. 8 landed at the edge of a greenside bunker and she made bogey.
 
Creamer rallied with a birdie on the hole and made a nice par save at the next after her drive landed under an evergreen tree.
 
Young Kim failed to take advantage of a booming drive at the ninth, hitting her second shot over the green and behind a pair of signs next to the 15th tee. Kim took a drop, then chipped 15 feet past the hole. She missed the putt coming back to fall into a tie with Creamer at 18-under.
 
Bader wasn't out of it, either. After making bogey on two of her first three holes, she rallied with two birdies before the turn and trailed by one. A birdie at No. 12 moved her to 18-under.
 
Mi Hyun Kim, playing in the threesome ahead, started the day a shot behind and moved into contention at the turn. She birdied both par-5s on the front side and took a brief one-shot lead with birdies at Nos. 10 and 12 before bogeying No. 14.
 
DIVOTS
Young Kim's winning score was the lowest this season in a 72-hole event on the LPGA Tour ... Diana D'Alessio had a career-best 65. ... Pat Hurst had two eagles on the front nine, the fourth player to accomplish that this season.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - LPGA Corning Classic
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes