Two South Koreans decide Nabisco title in a one-hole playoff
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — I.K. Kim raised her left hand to her mouth and turned her head away, unwilling to look at what just happened at her feet. Fans at Mission Hills gasped, groaned and screamed in a chorus of shared pain.
With a major championship resting on a 1-foot putt, Kim had just lived every golfer’s nightmare.
She had done the unthinkable. She had missed the unmissable.
A few minutes later, the Kraft Nabisco Championship was in a playoff — and with an improbable second chance to win, Sun Young Yoo didn’t flinch.
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Yoo won the LPGA Tour’s first major of the season with an 18-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Sunday, earning her first major title after Kim’s mind-boggling miss on a tap-in on the final hole of regulation.
Kim, the 23-year-old South Korean who lives near Los Angeles, couldn’t explain any of it. After barely missing a long birdie putt, she lined up the 1-footer patiently, and thought she hit it decently — but the ball toured the lip of the cup before coming out on the same side it entered.
“I played straight, and it actually just broke to the right, even that short putt,” Kim said.
After tapping in for a bogey that dropped her into a tie with Yoo, Kim raised both hands to her ears as she left the green, staring down blankly at the bridge while walking to the scorers’ tent. The playoff ended four strokes later, with Yoo confidently seizing her second career LPGA Tour victory.
Kim and Yoo shot 69 for a 9-under 279. Top-ranked Yani Tseng finished third at 8 under with a disappointing final-round 73.
Yoo lurked in the pack with steady play in a frantic final round in which five players held the lead. After finishing with a par in the group before Kim, Yoo figured she would collect a runner-up check and head home to Orlando.
“I thought I had no chance. I thought I.K. was going to make the putt, but it didn’t happen.”
Wendy Ward, from Edwall near Spokane, had a 75 to finish at 5-over 293 and earn $5,608.
to two victories
HUMBLE, Texas — Hunter Mahan shot a 1-under 71 for a 16-under 272 to win the Houston Open, edging Carl Pettersson by one stroke.
Mahan, who won the Match Play Championship in February, is the first two-time champion on the PGA Tour this year. The victory moved Mahan up to No. 4 in the world rankings, the first time he’s ever been the highest-ranked American.
Seattle native Fred Couples (74) and Bremerton’s Troy Kelly (71) tied for 47th at 3-under 285 and won $16,400 each. It was Kelly’s biggest paycheck this year.
• Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark shot a 69 for a 15-under 273 to win the Sicilian Open in Sciacca by one shot, holding off England’s Chris Wood (64).