Kangs Ace Beats Sorenstam in NY

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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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  • Leaderboard - LPGA Corning Classic

  • Full Coverage - LPGA Corning Classic