Choi beats 3 Kims in playoff to win Jamie Farr|
Sylvania, OH (Sports Network) - Na Yeon Choi made a short birdie putt Sunday
to win a four-way playoff at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, picking up
her third career LPGA Tour victory.
Her opponents in the playoff? Three players with the same name: Christina Kim,
In-Kyung Kim and Song-Hee Kim.
Choi beat them all with a three-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole,
building on the two titles she won last year.
All four players made birdies down the stretch to finish 72 holes on the
Highland Meadows course knotted at 14-under 270.
Choi, who captured a wire-to-wire win, made a 12-foot birdie putt at the 18th
hole in regulation to shoot a 71 and join the playoff. It made up for the
back-to-back bogeys she took at the 14th and 15th.
"My caddie kept me calm, and I tried to think positive," Choi said.
Her playing partner in the final pairing, Christina Kim, birdied the 17th hole
but missed a 10-foot birdie putt with a chance to win on the last hole of
regulation, settling for a 70.
In-Kyung Kim (64) and Song-Hee Kim (66) made big moves in the final round to
earn their spots in the playoff.
It was tight until the end.
All four players missed birdie putts from 15 feet or closer at the first
playoff hole, the par-five 18th. Song-Hee Kim's approach landed inside the
others', but she missed from about five feet.
Christina Kim was surprised no one converted.
"You have to expect everybody to make their putt," she said. "Once you get
into match-play format, you have to think that someone's gonna make it. I was
surprised when none of the putts went in.
"It was a very difficult hole location, but still, I thought someone was going
to make it."
All four players knocked their drives into the fairway at the second playoff
hole, the par-five 17th, with each player's ball landing within about 15 yards
of each other. But only Choi was able to convert her tee shot into a birdie.
The three-footer netted the 22-year-old Korean a $255,000 check.
"I was nervous, but I tried to focus on my game, so now I'm really happy,"
said Choi, who won the Samsung World Championship and the Hana Bank Kolon
Championship last year.
"I'm really proud of the way I controlled my emotions today. I think it's
really special to have won wire-to-wire."
World No. 3 Jiyai Shin, the highest-ranked player in the field, carded a 64
and finished a shot out of the playoff at 13-under 271. Inbee Park (69) ended
another stroke further back at 12-under 272.
NOTES: 2009 champion Eunjung Yi tied for 32nd place...Next week is the third
major of the season, the U.S. Women's Open, where Eun Hee Ji won last year.
07/04 20:49:48 ET