Kim prevails in playoff
Shrugging off a bad putt on the 72nd hole, Kim parred the first hole of a playoff with Vaughn Taylor to win the Houston Open on Sunday for his third PGA Tour title.
Kim and Taylor were tied at 12-under 276 after Kim missed a 6-foot par putt in regulation on the water-lined 18th hole to settle for a 2-under 70.
Not long ago, Kim said he would’ve mentally unraveled.
“Two years ago, that bag may have been in the water,” Kim said. “I might not have had clubs to go to the playoff. But I just feel calm out there, I feel no sense of urgency. It’s something that’s happened naturally and not something that’s been forced.
“I’m comfortable with who I am out there. I found my identity.”
Taylor finished with a 68. He needed a victory to qualify for the Masters next week in his hometown of Augusta, Ga.
“Hugely disappointed,” Taylor said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Charl Schwartzel (67) and Graham DeLaet (68) finished a stroke back at 11 under. Shaun Micheel (65) was two shots behind and Kevin Stadler (68) and Houston resident Jeff Maggert (70) finished four behind.
The 24-year-old Kim won for the first time since the 2008 AT&T National. He also won the Wachovia Championship in 2008. But after a 2009 highlighted more by injuries than victories, Kim caught himself in a negative spiral that was making things worse.
He finished 39th on the money list after reaching No. 6 in 2008, then re-dedicated himself to his practice routine and worked on his mental approach. And now he heads to the Masters riding four straight top-25 finishes.
LPGA Kraft Nabisco
At Rancho, Mirage, Calif., Yani Tseng eagled the second hole and pulled ahead of a star-studded field Sunday to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her second major title.
Tseng, from Taiwan, shot a 4-under 68 at Mission Hills to hold off Suzann Pettersen by a stroke. Two of Tseng’s three LPGA Tour victories have been majors—she won the 2008 LPGA Championship as a rookie, beating Maria Hjorth in a four-hole playoff.
Pettersen’s eagle chip on the par-5 18th stopped just a few inches from the hole, and Tseng tapped in for par to win. She then took the traditional plunge into Champion’s Lake with several friends.
Tseng finished at 13-under 275 and earned $300,000.
She started the day tied with Pettersen (69), one stroke behind Karen Stupples, but chipped in for eagle on the 521-yard, par-5 second. Stupples birdied No. 2, but Tseng took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 third that put her at 12 under.
Song-Hee Kim (70) was third at 9 under, top-ranked Lorena Ochoa (73) followed at 6 under. and Stupples (78) tied for fifth at 4 under with Jiyai Shin (71), Cristie Kerr (72) and Karrie Webb (73). Michelle Wie (78) tied for 27th at 3 over.
Last updated: 1:41 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012