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Young Kim wins LPGA Corning Classic

Young Kim wins LPGA Corning Classic

Young Kim won her first LPGA title Sunday, rallying with two birdies over the final five holes and capturing the Corning Classic by three shots over Paula Creamer and Mi Hyun Kim.
Young Kim shot 4-under 68 and finished at 20-under 268, four shots off the tournament record set four years ago by Juli Inkster. The win came in Kim's fifth year on tour and her 103rd start, and more than doubled her season winnings to $328,442 (euro244,249.18).
Creamer, whose driver deserted her _ she hit only six of 14 fairways _ finished with a bogey for a 71 to fall into a tie with Mi Hyun Kim (70).
Beth Bader, also bidding for her first victory, made double bogey on the final hole to finish in a tie for fourth with South Korean rookie In-Kyung Kim (69) at 16 under. It was a career-best finish for Bader, who began the day tied for the lead with Creamer and Young Kim.
Diana D'Alessio (65), Japan's Ai Miyazato (67), and South Korean Seon Hwa Lee (67) were another shot back.
Pat Hurst (65) made an impressive run at the outset, going 6 under on the front nine with eagles at both par 5s, but she started the day nine shots back and finished tied for ninth with Natalie Gulbis (68) at 14 under.
After carding just one bogey over the first three rounds, Young Kim seemed destined to fall apart after making two more at Nos. 8 and 9.
But after the 20-year-old Creamer took a one-shot lead with a birdie at the par-5 12th, she botched her approach shot at No. 14 and made bogey, three-putting from 45 feet when the sloping green proved too tricky.
Young Kim, who had nailed her third shot within a foot of the hole, easily made birdie to take a one-shot lead over Creamer, Bader and Mi Hyun Kim.
Young Kim followed with a nice par save at the par-3 15th after her tee shot landed in a greenside bunker. When Creamer's 7-foot birdie putt lipped out, her momentum was gone.
Kim sealed the victory when her second shot at No. 17 stopped a foot from the hole for an easy birdie.
Creamer, who gave her 89-year-old grandfather a hug after she teed off to start the round, ran into trouble at No. 6, a 307-yard dogleg left that curls down a steep hill. She hit 4-iron off the tee and landed behind a towering oak. After switching clubs three times, her second shot caromed off the base of the tree and stopped next to a dirt path. She managed to roll her third shot near the green, chipped well past the hole and made double bogey.
Young Kim sank a clutch 24-foot downhill putt at No. 7 to take a three-shot lead, and when Creamer's short birdie putt lipped out, she shook her head in disbelief and fell three shots back.
Just when Young Kim seemed set to take control, she fell apart. Her second shot at No. 8 landed at the edge of a greenside bunker, and she made bogey after flubbing her shot out of the sand.
Creamer rallied with a birdie on the hole and made a nice par save at the next after her drive landed under an evergreen tree.
Young Kim wasn't so lucky. She failed to take advantage of a booming drive at the ninth, hitting over the green and behind a pair of signs next to the 15th tee. After one sign was removed, Kim took a drop and chipped 15 feet past the hole. She missed the putt coming back to fall back into a tie with Creamer at 18 under.
Bader wasn't out of it, either. After making bogey on two of her first three holes, she rallied with two birdies before the turn and trailed by just one shot. She moved to 18 under with a birdie at No. 12.
Mi Hyun Kim, playing in the threesome ahead, started the day a shot behind and moved into contention at the turn. She birdied both par 5s on the front side and took a one-shot lead at 19 under with birdies at Nos. 10 and 12.
But after Creamer's birdie at the 12th tied Mi Hyun Kim for the lead, both bogeyed No. 14.
Because showers and thunderstorms were anticipated, tournament officials decided to use threesomes going off Nos. 1 and 10 to speed up final-round play. The rain never materialized, and the round was played under partly sunny skies.


Updated : 2021-10-17 13:43 GMT+08:00