Kim Wins Futures Q-School Lang Second
That was again the case when amateur Song-Hee Kim of Seoul, South Korea, fired her career-low round of 9-under-par 63 on the third day and stayed out of the field's reach down the stretch in today's final round. Kim, 17, carded a score of 2-under-par 70 today to complete the 72-hole event at 270 (-18) -- a tournament record since the FUTURES Golf Tour began holding a qualifying tournament in 1999. For the record, Kim's performance shattered last year's four-day qualifying total of 279, set by Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome.
'I couldn't catch her,' said runner-up Brittany Lang of McKinney, Texas, who carded rounds of 69-69-69-68 to finish alone in second place at 13-under-par 275. 'I had it to 5 under today, but she was really solid and she's really long. There are a lot of great young players right now, like Paula [Creamer] and Michelle [Wie], and she's in the next wave.'
Co-runner-up with top-ranked amateur Morgan Pressel this summer at the U.S. Women's Open Championship, Lang, 20, should know a thing or two about great young talent. Lang rolled in five birdies and recorded one bogey today as she tried to chase down the lanky Korean teenager. But Kim was unflappable and was one of five amateurs who finished in the tournament's top seven spots -- an unprecedented number of high-finishing ams.
Even after touring the front nine holes of Cleveland Heights Golf Course at even-par 36, the slender 5-foot-9 Korean teen remained patient and rolled in birdie putts from 15 feet on the 12th and from nine feet on the 14th hole in her bogey-free round. In spite of a disappointing day with her putter in which she used 32 putts, Kim managed to play under par and was largely uncatchable.
'I had good concentration this week and it feels good that I had nice scores,' said the shy teen through her translator, Sun Min Lim.
Kim admitted that she was still surprised by her third-round score of 63 and had trouble falling asleep later that night. She also admitted that she was 'a little nervous' beginning today's final round, but probably benefited from the fact that she didn't realize that Lang was the same player who finished second at this year's U.S. Women's Open.
'I didn't know it was her,' she said shyly. 'Maybe it is easier when I don't know about other players.'
Korean amateur Ha-Na Chae fired a final-round 68 and finished third at 10-under-par 278. Chae, 19, along with Kim and amateur Song Yi Choi, were three of the Korean National Team's six members in this week's FUTURES Tour Qualifying Tournament.
'It surprises me a little but Korea has a lot of good players,' said 2005 FUTURES Tour winner Jin Young Pak, 19, who visited Lakeland today to watch the tournament in the city where she won her first professional event back in March.
FUTURES Tour veteran Salimah Mussani of Burlington, Ontario finished solo fourth at eight-under-par 280, in spite of spending most of the night in a local hospital emergency room with severe stomach pains. Mussani went to a local hospital at 3:30 a.m., and then informed medical staff that she would have to postpone a suggested CAT scan for a suspicious appendix because she 'had a golf tournament to play.' Sleepless but determined -- and still in pain -- the former Stanford University player carded a two-under-par 70 to lend credence to the old 'beware of the ailing golfer' adage.
Rounding out the top seven was amateur Angela Park, 17, of Torrance, Calif., at 282 (-6), and amateur In-Bee Park, 17, of Las Vegas at 283 (-5).
'I think I played pretty decent golf, but I have to get better at playing strong at the end,' said former U.S. Girls' Junior Champion In-Bee Park, who shot a two-under-par 70 today with bogeys on her last two holes. 'This week was a really good experience with really great competition.'
It also was a week in which the amateurs certainly grabbed the attention of the professionals in the field. Australia's Nikki Garrett of New South Wales was still shaking her head at the performance of Kim, after having watched the tournament's winner fire a 66 during the second round and her record-setting 63 in the third.
'If I putted like her, maybe I'd be that good,' said Garrett, who was paired with Kim for the two rounds. 'She made it look so easy and it was good to watch.'
As for Kim, she seemed most animated when she spoke of flying home to Korea on Saturday. She admitted that she was homesick for her mom's cooking in spite of her father Chun Bae Kim's valiant efforts to prepare rice, soup and Korean barbecue for his daughter all week.
Kim plans to return to the United States in January to attend the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) in Hilton Head Island, S.C., where she hopes to improve her English. And she plans to play on the FUTURES Golf Tour in 2006 as an amateur.
She already has won as an amateur, but to all who were chasing Song-Hee Kim for 72 holes this week, she sure played like a pro.
Weather extends Barbasol to Monday finish
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - A thunderstorm has suspended the fourth round of the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship until Monday morning.
Sunday's third stoppage of play at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came with the four leaders - Hunter Mahan, Robert Streb, Tom Lovelady and Troy Merritt at 18 under par - and four other contenders waiting to begin the round.
The tournament will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. Lightning caused one delay, and play was stopped earlier in the afternoon to clear water that accumulated on the course following a morning of steady and sometimes-heavy rain.
Inclement weather has plagued the tournament throughout the weekend. The second round was completed Saturday morning after being suspended by thunderstorms late Friday afternoon.
The resumption will mark the PGA Tour's second Monday finish this season. Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January after darkness delayed the sixth playoff hole, and he needed just 13 minutes to claim the victory.
Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him
It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.
Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.
The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:
The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.
For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.
Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter
After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.
But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.
Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":
Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.
Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.
Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.
The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.
“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.
In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.
“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”
Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.
“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.