Kangs Ace Beats Sorenstam in NY

By Sports NetworkMay 29, 2005, 4:00 pm
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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    Molinari reflects on beating Woods at Ryder Cup, Open

    By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 9:11 am

    SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – Francesco Molinari might be a useful resource for the European Ryder Cup team.

    He’s already beaten Tiger Woods, head to head, at a Ryder Cup and a major.

    Molinari was in the anchor match at the 2012 Ryder Cup when Woods conceded on the final hole to give the Europeans an outright victory in the incredible comeback at Medinah. He said the last hole was a “blur,” and it remains the last Ryder Cup that both Molinari and Woods played.

    “I’ve improved a lot as a player since 2012,” said Molinari, who lost his previous singles match against Woods in 2010, 4 and 3, “and I hope to show that on the course this week.”

    The proof is the claret jug that he now keeps at home.

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    To win his first major he needed to not only endure the circus that a Woods group brings, but he needed to outlast the 14-time major champion and a host of other worthy contenders to prevail at Carnoustie.

    Reflecting on that momentous day Tuesday, Molinari said he initially was dreading the final-round date with Woods.

    “If I’m completely honest, I wasn’t exactly hoping to be paired with Tiger, not because I don’t like to play with him, but because, obviously, the hype and with him being in contention in a major, it’s going to be noisy and it’s going to be a lot of people," he said. 

    “So the most challenging part was probably that moment when the draw came out, but then I quickly managed to think, You know, whatever. I don’t really care. I’m here to do a job, and they can’t really influence how I do my job.”  

    To thrive in that situation gave Molinari a lot of confidence – especially heading into a pressure-cooker like the Ryder Cup.

    Asked whether it’s more pressure trying to win a major or a Ryder Cup – since he’s now done both – Molinari said: “You won’t believe me, but it’s nowhere near. Carnoustie was nowhere near Medinah or in any matching ways. It’s hard to believe, but it’s probably because you play for a team; you play for a continent in our case, and you know about the tradition and what players have done in the past.”

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    Woods 25/1 to break Nicklaus' record by age 50

    By Will GraySeptember 25, 2018, 9:05 am

    With his victory at the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods crept closer to Sam Snead's all-time PGA Tour wins mark. But he also got fans thinking about whether golf's most famous record is once again in play.

    Woods has been stuck on 14 career major titles since the 2008 U.S. Open, although he had a pair of close calls this summer. But now that he's again a winner on Tour, oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook created bets on where Woods' career major haul will end up.

    The line they drew in the sand? Dec. 30, 2025 - when Woods, now 42, will turn 50 years old.

    According to the Westgate, Woods is a -150 favorite to win at least one more major by that time. He's 2/1 to win at least two more, 5/1 to win at least three more and 12/1 to win at least four more. But it'll take five more majors to break Nicklaus' record haul of 18, and the odds on Woods doing that by age 50 are set at 25/1.

    There are also odds on Woods' 2019 major prospects, as he's already the betting favorite for the Masters at 9/1. Woods' odds of winning any major next year are listed at +225, while the pessimists can wager -275 that his major victory drought will extend to at least 2020.

    There's even a bet for those expecting some serious history: the odds of Woods sweeping all four majors next year at age 43 are 200/1.

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    All 12 Europeans have history at Le Golf National

    By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 8:55 am

    SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The European team has plenty of experience at Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National, which has been the longtime host of the French Open.

    The question this week is whether it’ll matter.

    The only American player to compete in this year’s French Open was Justin Thomas. Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and Bubba Watson all got a look at Le Golf National before The Open.

    Not surprisingly, the European team has a proven track record here – all 12 players have seen the course at some point. Alex Noren won in July. Tommy Fleetwood is a past champion, too. So is European vice captain Graeme McDowell. Francesco Molinari and assistant Lee Westwood also have runners-up here.

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    “I definitely think it’s a help to us, for sure,” Ian Poulter said. “It’s probably the most-played venue as a Ryder Cup venue for all of the European players that have played. So we definitely have a feel of how this golf course has played in very different weather conditions. I definitely think we have an understanding of how this golf course can play.”

    Of course, this setup is no different than what players typically experience as they prepare for a major championship. They’ll play 18 holes each of the next two days, then maybe nine holes on Thursday, as they get a feel for the layout.  

    “When it’s the best players in the world, and we play on golf courses week-in and week-out where we have to learn a new golf course, it’s difficult to say how much of an advantage it will be,” Fleetwood said. “It can only be a good thing, or it can’t do any harm that we know the course better or that we’ve played it more times.

    “Knowledge can only be a good thing. Maybe it’s a little advantage, but it’s the best players in the world that are out here, so it’s not something to look at too much.”

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    First-tee grandstand 'biggest you'll ever see'

    By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2018, 8:27 am

    SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France – The first-tee nerves could be even more intense this week at the Ryder Cup.

    If only because of the atmosphere.

    The grandstand surrounding the first hole at Le Golf National is unlike anything that’s ever been seen at this event – a 6,500-seat behemoth that dwarfs the previous arenas.

    “It’s the biggest grandstand you’ll ever see at a golf tournament,” Tommy Fleetwood said.

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    “It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t had to hit that tee shot before,” Ian Poulter said. “When I think back (to my first Ryder Cup) in 2004, the stand is nothing like what we have today. So it really is going to be quite a special moment Friday, and it’s going to be very interesting to see.”

    Poulter said it’ll be his job to prepare, as best he can, the team’s rookies for what they’ll experience when the first ball goes in the air Friday morning.

    “The No. 1 thing I’ve pictured since the Ryder Cup became a goal is that first tee shot,” Fleetwood said. “But nothing prepares you for the real thing. The grandstand is pretty big – there’s no denying that.

    “It’s something that everybody wants in their career, so as nerve-wracking as it is, and whatever those feelings are, everybody wants that in their life. So you just have to take it on and let it all happen.”