Kim Finally Breaks Through at Longs Drugs

By Sports NetworkSeptember 26, 2004, 4:00 pm
AUBURN, Calif. -- Christina Kim finally broke through on the LPGA Tour on Sunday. She fired a six-under 65 to claim her first victory at the Longs Drugs Challenge. Kim finished at 18-under-par 266 at The Ridge Golf Course, which was good for a one-shot win over Karrie Webb.
Kims four-round total of 266 smashed the previous tournament record by seven. Kelly Robbins and Val Skinner each posted 273s in 1996.
Webb carded a seven-under 64, and was followed in third place by two-time former champion Juli Inkster. Inkster, who was the second-round leader, shot a three-under 68 and came in at 16-under-par 268.
Hee-Won Han, who won last weeks Safeway Classic, managed a six-under 65 on Sunday and took fourth place at 14-under-par 270.
While Kim held off two Hall of Famers en route to her first victory, the story of Sundays final round might have been a 35-year-old journeywoman who has never won on tour.
Anna Acker-Macosko collected 11 birdies and no bogeys for an 11-under-par 60, matching the second lowest number in LPGA Tour history. Meg Mallon posted the same score in the second round of last years Welchs/Frys Championship and Jung Yeon Lee had a 60 in the opening round of the same tournament this year.
Annika Sorenstam owns the only 59 in tour history. She shot that in the second round of the 2001 Standard Register PING.
Acker-Macosko birdied her first two holes, then tallied three birdies in her final four holes on the front nine for a 31. She birdied her first two on the back side, then four more in a row from the 13th to get to 11-under par for the round.
At the 17th, Acker-Macosko left her 25-foot birdie putt short. She had a 30- foot putt at the last to become the second player in LPGA Tour history shoot the magical 59, but the putt was too far right and instead she tapped in for a par and 60.
It was a straight putt and I was reading it to break, said Acker-Macosko, referring to her missed putt at the 18th. Its probably the closest Ill ever come to tying one of Annikas records.
Acker-Macosko tied for fifth place with Jeong Jang (62) at 13-under-par 271.
Inkster held the lead throughout most of the round and the margin was three after the 11th. Kim had three birdies and one bogey at that point, but was poised to make her charge.
Kim birdied the 12th and 14th holes to get within one of Inksters lead. When Inkster bogeyed the 14th, that dropped her into a three-way tie for the lead with Kim and Webb.
Kim and Webb both birdied the 15th hole to share a one-shot lead with Inkster in the group behind. Inkster parred the hole to fall one off, but Kim took a two-shot lead with a birdie at No. 17.
Kim had a one-shot lead on 18 and missed her birdie putt left. Webb had close to nine feet to tie Kim, but missed the putt, giving Kim her first win after several close brushes with the winners circle.
She has posted four top-15s in her last four starts and took second to Cristie Kerr at the State Farm Classic. Kim missed a short putt on the final hole in that event to lose by one.
Mi Hyun Kim (66), Michelle Estill (68) and Katherine Hull (68) tied for seventh at minus-12.
Liselotte Neumann (66) and Donna Andrews (68) shared 10th at 11-under-par 273.
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    Chamblee comments on Choi's unique step-through swing

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 24, 2018, 3:55 pm

    The golf world found itself enamored with a largely unknown journeyman this weekend.

    Ho-sung Choi went from 554th in the world to No. 1 in the hearts of all those who swing the golf club just a little bit differently thanks to his run at the Korean Open.

    The 44-year-old with the exaggerated step through impact found himself two off the pace through 54 holes and in contention for one of two available invitations to this year's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Choi fell out of the hunt for tournament title and the Open exemption with a final-round 74, but nonetheless left an impression with his tie for fifth.

    Asked about Choi's swing Saturday night, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee offered the following:

    "If Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player had a golf school, what would their first professional golfer swing like? Voila," Chamblee said.

    "Both those legends had walk through finishes, but Ho Sung has taken this move to a new level with a borderline pirouette to keep from hanging back.

    "In an era when professional golfers get accused of having golf swings that all look alike, I’ve never seen anyone swing quite like Ho Sung Choi.

    "I can’t wait to try this on the range tomorrow."

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    Wallace holds off charges to win BMW International

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 3:43 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany - England's Matt Wallace shot a 7-under 65 to hold off a record-breaking charge from Thorbjorn Olesen and win the BMW International Open on Sunday.

    Wallace finished on 10-under 278 - just ahead of Olesen, Mikko Korhonen and 2008 winner Martin Kaymer, whose chances took a blow with a bogey on the 17th hole.

    ''I want to keep building on this,'' Wallace said after his third European Tour win. ''Obviously this gives me a lot of confidence to go on and play well and I want to kick on and hopefully do this in the bigger events from now on.''

    Full-field scores from the BMW International Open

    Olesen had played himself into contention with the lowest round in tournament history, with nine birdies and an eagle for an 11-under 61. It was the lowest round of his European Tour career and it gave the Dane a three-shot lead before the final group had even teed off.

    ''I was just trying today to go out there and build on my game, see if I could shoot a low score,'' Olesen said. ''Obviously as the round progressed I kept on thinking birdies and trying to make the round better. Finishing with four birdies was pretty nice.''

    Wallace turned in 34 but then made five birdies in seven holes from the turn to edge a shot past Olesen. He waited as Kaymer and Korhonen went close with rounds of 68 and 67, respectively.

    England's Aaron Rai and Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard finished joint-fifth with rounds of 69.

    Sunghyun Park (left) and Minchel Choi (right). Getty Images

    Choi, Park qualify for Carnoustie from Korean Open

    By Nick MentaJune 24, 2018, 2:54 pm

    Two players - Minchel Choi and Sanghyun Park - qualified for next month's Open Championship at Carnoustie via the Open Qualifying Series on Sunday.

    Choi (69) held off Park (66) to win the Korean Open by two shots.

    This was the Qualifying Series debut for the Korean Open, whiched awarded Open Championship exemptions to the tournament's top two finishers inside the top eight and ties who were not already qualified.

    Choi, the 532nd-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, punched his ticket in his first professional win.

    Park, the 146th in the world, is a six-time Korean Tour champion who has already won twice this season. 

    Both players will be making their first ever major starts.

    “I am absolutely honored to be playing in The Open and I wanted to win this championship to give me [that] opportunity," Choi said. "I cannot believe that I have won today. I am so happy and excited."

    “It is a great honor to have qualified for The Open and make my first appearance in the championship," Park added. "I’ve watched The Open on television every single year and I can’t really believe that I have qualified, it is amazing."

    The Open Qualifying Series continues next week at the Open de France, where as many as three exemptions will be awarded to the three leading players inside the top 10 and ties who are not already qualified.

    The 147th Open will be held at Carnoustie from July 19-22.

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    Minjee Lee co-leads Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

    By Associated PressJune 24, 2018, 12:25 am

    ROGERS, Ark. - Minjee Lee wasn't all that concerned when she missed her first cut of the year this month at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

    The ninth-ranked Australian has certainly looked at ease and back in form at Pinnacle Country Club in her first event since then.

    Lee and Japan's Nasa Hataoka each shot 6-under 65 on Saturday to share the second-round lead in the NW Arkansas Championship 13-under 129. Lee is chasing her fifth victory since turning pro three years ago. It's also an opportunity to put any lingering frustration over that missed cut two weeks ago behind her for good.

    ''I didn't particularly hit it bad, even though I missed the cut at ShopRite, I just didn't really hole any putts,'' Lee said. ''I'd been hitting it pretty solid going into that tournament and even into this tournament, too. Just to see a couple putts roll in has been nice.''

    The 22-year-old Lee needed only 24 putts during her opening 64 on Friday, helping her to match the low round of her career. Despite needing 28 putts Saturday, she still briefly took the outright lead after reaching as low as 14 under after a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship

    Lee missed the green on the par-4 ninth soon thereafter to lead to her only bogey of the day and a tie with the 19-year-old Hataoka, who is in pursuit of her first career win.

    Hataoka birdied six of eight holes midway through her bogey-free round on Saturday. It was yet another stellar performance from the Japanese teenager, who has finished in the top 10 in four of her last five tournaments and will be a part of Sunday's final pairing.

    ''I try to make birdies and try to be under par, that's really the key for me to get a top ten,'' Hataoka said. ''Golf is just trying to be in the top 10 every single week, so that's the key.''

    Third-ranked Lexi Thompson matched the low round of the day with a 64 to get to 11 under. She hit 17 of 18 fairways and shot a 5-under 30 on her opening nine, The American is in search of her first win since September in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.

    Ariya Jutanugarn and Celine Boutier were 10 under.

    First-round leader Gaby Lopez followed her opening 63 with a 75 to drop to 4 under. Fellow former Arkansas star Stacy Lewis also was 4 under after a 72.