Kim Birdies 72nd Hole to Win Womens Open

By Sports NetworkJune 26, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 U.S. WomenCHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Birdie Kim lived up to her name on Sunday, holing a bunker shot for birdie on the 18th hole at Cherry Hills Country Club to win the U.S. Women's Open.
 
Kim defeated 17-year-old amateur Morgan Pressel, who was tied for the lead in the 18th fairway until Kim's hole-out, and 19-year-old amateur Brittany Lang by two shots.
 
Birdie Kim
Birdie Kim reacts after holing out an improbable bunker shot on the 72nd hole to win the U.S. Women's Open at Cherry Hills.
'I can't believe it,' said Kim, who collected the fourth birdie of the entire championship at the demanding par-4 closing hole. 'I tried to get par. I never thought about the ball going in the hole. It's amazing.'
 
Kim shot a 1-over 72 in the final round to finish the championship at 3-over-par 287.
 
Pressel, who shared the third-round lead, managed a 4-over-par 75 to join Lang, who fired an even-par 71, at plus-5.
 
Michelle Wie, the 15-year-old amateur who was part of the three-way tie with Pressel and reigning Women's British Open champion Karen Stupples, struggled badly on Sunday. She shot an 11-over 82 and tied for 23rd at plus-12.
 
'I haven't played this bad in a long time, so I definitely learned a lot of things from today,' said Wie, who finished second two weeks ago at the LPGA Championship. ''Difficult' would be too easy a word. It was really hard out there for me today.'
 
Wie double bogeyed the first when her drive landed in the left rough and it was all downhill from there. She finished out her front nine at 7-over 42, then had four bogeys, two birdies and a double bogey in a 4-over 40 on the back nine.
 
Annika Sorenstam never made a run in her quest for the third leg of the single-season Grand Slam. The Swede posted a 6-over 77 and was part of the group tied with Wie.
 
'I am disappointed, but I am going to leave here and I am going to know in my heart that I gave it all, it just did not happen,' said Sorenstam. 'Having said that, that just gives me something to work on. That's not a bad thing.'
 
Kim and Pressel were tied at 4 over par when Kim stepped on the tee at the 18th. The hole was ranked as the hardest in U.S. Women's Open Championship history and certainly claimed its victims on Sunday.
 
Lorena Ochoa reached 3 over par for the tournament thanks to four birdies on the back nine. Her drive at 18 was awful, as her club hit the ground first, then sent the ball short and left in the water.
 
Her third shot, once again from the tee, landed in the right rough, forcing her to chop out to the fairway. Ochoa's fifth hit the ground hard and bounced into the grandstands. She got a free drop and her sixth came up 10 feet short of the pin, where she missed for a quadruple-bogey and a 7 over-par total.
 
'I just gave the tournament away,' admitted Ochoa. 'I had a pretty good chance and I was feeling really good. I tried really hard and tried to do my best and I was fighting a lot for 71 holes, and all of a sudden just in the last one, you give everything away. It is a humble game, you have to learn from it.'
 
Next one to be humbled at the 18th was Natalie Gulbis. She was at 5 over par and with a par would have been the leader in the clubhouse. Gulbis' approach at 18 landed in the same bunker that Kim's ball would find one hour later.
 
Gulbis blasted out to 5 feet and her par putt never broke the way she thought.
 
Lang was up next and landed in that familiar sand trap. She blasted her third to roughly the same spot Gulbis found, and the result was the same. Lang missed the par putt right, so she got into the clubhouse at 5 over par.
 
'It's pretty exciting,' admitted Lang, who will turn professional at the end of the summer. 'I didn't look at the leaderboard all day, so I didn't really know exactly where I stood. I was happy with my week so I wasn't disappointed she made that bunker shot.'
 
Kim and Pressel separated themselves on the back nine, but due to Cherry Hills' difficulty, they came back to the pack.
 
Kim went ahead with a 12-foot birdie putt at the 11th, but ran into trouble at No. 14 when her drive was less than a foot from being out of bounds. She punched her second into the fairway, then knocked her third 20 feet right of the flag. Kim missed the par putt short, but tapped in for bogey.
 
Pressel was in trouble one hole behind. Her drive at 13 found the left rough, then her second came to rest in a front bunker. She blasted out to 4 feet, but Pressel missed the putt. She did hole a clutch par save at 15, but Kim had control of the tournament.
 
Kim was ahead by one shot until her tee ball at the par-4 16th ran into the rough. She pitched out with her second and hit her third from 133 yards out 40 feet short. Kim's par putt came up 3 feet short and it was a bogey, putting the two in a tie.
 
Both Kim and Pressel had makeable birdie putts at the par-5 17th. Kim, one group ahead of Pressel, missed her 20-footer, then the 17-year-old amateur failed from almost the same spot.
 
At the 18th, Kim drove into the fairway and hit a seven-wood into the right bunker. Her blast from the trap checked a bit, then rolled right into the cup for the amazing birdie.
 
'I didn't think of making, I just tried to get close,' said Kim, who pocketed $560,000 for the win. 'I tried my best to get par.'
 
In the fairway, Pressel looked on in disbelief.
 
'Anytime you miss the green there you don't know what to expect,' said Pressel. 'She hit a great shot. I was like, 'I can't believe this is happening to me.''
 
Pressel came up short and right with her approach, but if the ball landed a few feet more to the left, it could have rolled near the hole. Her pitch sailed long and right and Pressel threw her club at her bag in disgust.
 
She missed the par putt to tie fellow amateur Lang.
 
'It's positive I finished second in the Open, but I mean it was the fact that I was just so close,' lamented Pressel. 'If a couple of bounces would have gone my way, it would have been mine, but it's not.'
 
Kim collected her first LPGA Tour victory in her 34th start. She became the third player in tournament history to win this prestigious event in her first try.
 
Gulbis finished with an even-par 70 and tied for fourth with Lorie Kane, who fired a 2-under 69. The duo came in at 6-over-par 290.
 
Ochoa carded a 1-over 72 on Sunday and tied for sixth with Karine Icher (72), Candie Kung (74) and Young Jo (76) at 7-over-par 291.
 
Stupples struggled in the final round and shot a 7-over 78. She shared 10th place with Cristie Kerr (75) and Angela Stanford (76) at 8-over-par 292.
 
Defending champion Meg Mallon finished with a 2-over 73 and tied for 13th at plus-9.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - U.S. Women's Open
  • Full Coverage - U.S. Women's Open
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    McIlroy: U.S. Open MC 'blessing in disguise'

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 11:47 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Watching a major championship unfold from the comfort of your living room is never an ideal strategy for any top-ranked pro, but sometimes players are forced to make the best of a bad situation.

    Case in point Rory McIlroy, who ballooned to an opening-round 80 at the U.S. Open and never factored after that. The Ulsterman struggled to find a comfort zone at Shinnecock Hills, missing the U.S. Open cut for the third straight year.

    But given a few extra days to prep, McIlroy appears to have cured what was ailing him after leading the Travelers Championship field in a number of ball-striking categories during an opening-round 64 that left him one shot behind leaders Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    “Obviously you never want to miss a cut in a major, but it might have been a blessing in disguise for the rest of the year,” McIlroy said.

    Even after hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation during his second trip around Shinnecock, McIlroy went back to the drawing board as he looks to emulate the swing he used in 2010 and 2011 when he won twice on the PGA Tour including the U.S. Open. While he notes that changes to his body will limit his ability to conjure an exact replica, he’s more in search of the positive thoughts that helped get his burgeoning pro career off the ground.

    “It’s just trying to go back and, OK, I was swinging it really well then. What was I doing? What was I thinking about? What was the focus on the swing?” McIlroy said. “Just trying to rack your brain to recreate feelings that you had back then. That’s basically what I did over the weekend. I got a feeling that really sort of resonated with me, and brought me back to a time when I was swinging it really well, and just sort of went with that feeling.”

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    Spieth, McIlroy get back on track at Travelers

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 11:18 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – What a difference a week makes.

    Players speak in unison about a desire to peak four times per year when the major trophies are on the line. But it’s a soft science, easier said than done. Sometimes the key is to play your way onto the biggest stages, while other times the best practice is to build reps far away from the PGA Tour rope line.

    Jordan Spieth got to Shinnecock Hills the weekend before the U.S. Open began, logging two full practice rounds before sitting down for his pre-tournament interview. Rory McIlroy went to an even further extreme, basically establishing residency in the Hamptons while playing every top-100 golf course within a 20-mile radius.

    They were concerted efforts, carefully calculated plans of attack that both men hoped would yield a second U.S. Open title. They also blew up in their faces in record time.

    Spieth was 4 over after just two holes at Shinnecock, while McIlroy played his first 11 in 10 over. Just like that, the best-laid plans got lost in the knee-high fescue as one of a finite number of legitimate shots at major glory went by the wayside before lunch was served.


    Full-field scores from the Travelers Championship

    Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos


    Both players snuck off the premises well before the course became the weekend storyline, each bearing the battle scars of a missed cut. But given a chance to quickly reverse their fortunes, they both took full advantage at the Travelers Championship.

    Spieth has spoken openly in recent weeks about the wars he continues to wage with his own game, as his putter has been downgraded from balky to outright uncooperative. Just as things started to turn around on the greens at the Memorial, his reliable ball-striking began to fade. A full-blown game of whack-a-mole has ensued.

    “It’s certainly a testing year for me, and it’s a building year,” Spieth said. “It’s one where I can actually come out stronger. I’ve kind of looked at it that way the last couple months.”

    It’s also been difficult for Spieth simply to get out of the gates in recent weeks. His third-place showing at the Masters remains a high water mark, but it was the product of a scintillating finale that came after starting the day well off the pace. Spieth remains candid about the fact that he has lacked a quality chance to win this year, one that he has previously defined as being within six shots of the lead entering Sunday.

    All of those factors combined to make his opening 63 especially satisfying, as he returned to TPC River Highlands as defending champ and quickly grabbed a share of the lead, once again carving up a lush layout where he has nothing but positive memories.

    “First rounds have been tough for me, trying to do a little bit too much. Trying to get shots back when I drop one and trying to have to birdie easy holes,” Spieth said. “The putter is starting to look better to me, so I can play a little bit more conservatively and still get a lot out of the round.”

    McIlroy was alongside Spieth and Zach Johnson before a bogey on the final hole, but even a 6-under 64 matched his low round of the season on Tour. The Ulsterman downplayed his eye-popping score at Shinnecock entering a fresh week, noting that his tee-to-green performance where he hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation during the second round might be good enough to win this week at a more vulnerable venue.

    It appears his thesis has merit, albeit through one round.

    “I did a lot of similar things to what I did today. It’s just a completely different animal,” McIlroy said. “Like, it’s nice getting off to a good start here. But as I keep saying, I’m not playing that differently now than I did last Thursday, and it’s a 16-shot difference.”

    Just like his last competitive round, McIlroy missed only one green in regulation. But this time the stat line portends even greater potential, as he also led the field Thursday in driving distance, strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: tee-to-green.

    McIlroy’s ceiling remains absurdly high, as demonstrated by the way he surged from the pack to win at Bay Hill and seemingly took early command of the BMW PGA Championship without breaking a sweat. It also doesn’t need lowering after a couple errant days on a grand stage.

    “I played really well today. I feel like the work that I did over the weekend sort of started to pay off already,” McIlroy said. “Being able to work the ball both ways was something I wasn’t quite as comfortable doing last week.”

    Despite flooding their respective scorecards with birdies, neither Spieth nor McIlroy created any distance from the field on a day when low scores were ripe for the picking. A total of 22 players opened with rounds of 66 or better, including four major champions not named Spieth or McIlroy.

    But after pouring time, effort and energy into last week’s major and watching it all go so horribly wrong, this was a day to remember that sometimes the solutions are closer than the recent results make them appear.

    “I’ve been sticking to the process. I’ve been very positive about making progress from how I got pretty off earlier this year. So it’s nice to see a good score,” Spieth said. “Just glad. The first rounds have been kind of detrimental to me, so it’s nice to be in the thick of things.”

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    Spieth shares Hartford lead; Rory 1 back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 10:35 pm

    Just a few miles north but light years removed from the difficulty of Shinnecock Hills, the PGA Tour returned to week-in, week-out normalcy with the Travelers Championship. Here's what happened in the first round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.:

    Leaderboard: Zach Johnson (-7), Jordan Spieth (-7), Rory McIlroy (-6), Peter Malnati (-6), Brian Harman (-6)

    What it means: The two biggest names in the field, Spieth and McIlroy, are looking for a boost of confidence after missing the cut in the U.S. Open. Their scores look good, but McIlroy won't be happy about closing with a bogey.

    Round of the day: Johnson and Spieth both put up 7-under 63s. Johnson, after a relatively pedestrian 2-under front nine, caught fire on the back, making six consecutive birdies on holes 11-16. A three-putt bogey at the 17th ended the run, and he parred the last for his 63. Spieth, the defending champion, put up two birdies and an eagle on the front and four more birdies on the back. Like Johnson, he had only one blemish, a bogey-5 on the drivable par-4 15th when he hooked his drive into the water.

    Best of the rest: McIlroy, Malnati and Harman each shot 64. Malnati eagled the 15th and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17 and a back-nine 29. Harman had a rare birdie on the 444-yard 18th for his 64, but McIlroy threw away a shot at the closing hole to fall out of a share of the lead. His right foot slipped as he was hitting his approach shot, and he missed the green. After taking a drop to get away from a sprinkler head, he was unable to get up and down.

    Biggest disappointment: Bubba Watson, a two-time winner of this event, could manage no better than an even-par 70. Two-under through 11 holes, he bogeyed three of the next four.

    Shot of the day: Can we safely say that Spieth likes the bunkers at River Highlands? Last year he got up and down from one at the 18th hole to get into a playoff, then he holed out from the same bunker to win the playoff. On Thursday he worked his magic at the par-5 sixth hole, sinking his sand shot for eagle.

    Biggest storyline going into Friday: Most eyes will be on Spieth and McIlroy, to see if they're over their U.S. Open funks and gearing up for The Open Championship.

    NBC Sports Group to Showcase Top Players in Women's Golf With Comprehensive Coverage of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, June 25-July 1

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 21, 2018, 9:35 pm

    Golf Channel and NBC to Combine for More Than 40 Hours of News, Tournament and Instruction On-Site from Kemper Lakes Golf Club, Most in Tournament History 

    KPMG Ambassador Phil Mickelson to Join Golf Central on Monday, June 25 Live from Soldier Field 

    Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani to Headline KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Wednesday, June 27

     

    ORLANDO, Fla., June 21, 2018 – Featuring one of the strongest fields of the year, NBC Sports Group will dedicate more than 40 hours of comprehensive on-site news, tournament and instruction coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – most in tournament history – Monday, June 25 - Sunday, July 1. Taking place at Kemper Lakes Golf Club near Chicago, the third LPGA Tour major of the season will be headlined by World No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 Lexi Thompson, ANA Inspiration champion Pernilla Lindberg and defending champion Danielle Kang. In 2017, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was the most-watched women’s major championship of the year. 

    Through the partnership with KPMG, the PGA of America and the LPGA Tour, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has been elevated to become one of the most impactful weeks of the year in women’s golf,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content, Golf Channel. “As the broadcast partner for the championship, we strive to elevate our coverage each year to celebrate not only the best players in women’s golf but also female leaders in the workplace through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.” 

    BROADCAST TEAM: Live tournament coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks, joined by Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch in the broadcast booth. Tom Abbott will report from an on-course tower, with Kay Cockerill, Jerry Foltz and Mark Rolfing walking the course. Steve Sands will conduct player interviews. 

    NBC SPORTS GROUP TO IMPLEMENT POPULAR “PLAYING THROUGH” ENCHANCED COMMERCIAL BREAKS: Making its debut on NBC at the Ryder Cup in 2016, Golf Channel and NBC will implement the popular “Playing Through” enhancement in an effort to elevate the viewing experience for fans tuning in to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. NBC Sports Group is partnering with several national advertisers to present select commercial breaks in utilizing “Playing Through,” which will employ a split-screen model for a select number of national commercial breaks. This enhanced break will display both the commercial with audio as well as a continuous feed of the tournament action. 

    COMPREHENSIVE ON-SITE NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel’s signature news programs, Golf Central and Morning Drive, will provide comprehensive, wraparound news coverage throughout the week, produced on-location at Kemper Lakes Golf Club. In addition to daily shows, Golf Central will present special player news conference shows Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and 27, at 5 p.m. ET. 

    Rich Lerner will anchor Golf Central’s live coverage alongside LPGA major champion Karen Stupples and Arron Oberholser beginning Wednesday, June 27, with Lisa Cornwell reporting and conducting player interviews. Chantel McCabe will set the stage each day on Morning Drive with on-site interviews and analysis, with Paige Mackenzie joining her Monday-Wednesday. 

    PHIL MICKELSON TO JOIN GOLF CENTRAL LIVE FROM SOLDIER FIELD MONDAY, JUNE 25: Kicking off KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week will be the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge, taking place at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday, June 25. KPMG Ambassadors Phil Mickelson and Mariah Stackhouse along with athletes from the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Fire, Red Stars and Skywill be conducting a special clinic and skills challenge event with local youth organizations. Mickelson will join Golf Central live from Soldier Field on Monday following the conclusion of the skills challenge. 

    SCHOOL OF GOLF ON-SITE AT KEMPER LAKES: School of Golf will air Tuesday at 7 p.m. from on-site at Kemper Lakes Golf Club, with Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal hosting a special short-game episode. Scheduled guests include 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn and her coaches, Golf Channel Academy coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, as well as LPGA major champion Morgan Pressel.  

    KPMG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Golf Central will offer news coverage of the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be hosted on-site Wednesday, June 27, featuring an assembly of accomplished leaders in sports, business, politics and media to inspire the next generation of women leaders. 66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani will headline the gathering. NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya will serve as master of ceremonies. The summit will be streamed live on Wednesday on Golf Channel Digital. In addition, portions of the summit also will be streamed via Golf Channel’s Facebook Live. 

    DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Golf Channel Digital will feature expanded editorial content during KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week. GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell will report from Kemper Lakes Golf Club with columns and daily blogs, and Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will contribute to Golf Channel’s social media platforms with exclusive behind-the-scenes content throughout the week. Golf Channel and NBC also will integrate social media throughout the telecasts, incorporating social media posts from players and fans using the hashtag #KPMGWomensPGA. 

    News and tournament action surrounding the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online via Golf Channel Digital. Fans also can stream NBC Sports’ coverage of live golf via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports app.

     GOLF CHANNEL / NBC LIVE TOURNAMENT AIRTIMES(all times Eastern):

    Thursday, June 28

    Round 1

    11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Golf Channel

    Friday, June 29

    Round 2

    11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Golf Channel

    Saturday, July 30

    Round 3

    3-6 p.m.

    NBC

    Sunday, July 1

    Final Round

    3-6 p.m.

    NBC

     

    The PGA of America and KPMG joined forces with the LPGA Tour in 2015 to create a world-class major championship that not only sustains the 60-year legacy of the former LPGA Championship, but also aims to elevate women on and off the golf course. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship provides a platform to inspire the next generation of women leaders through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and the KPMG Future Leaders Program.

     -NBC Sports Group-