Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Kim In-kyung claims first LPGA title

SLEEPLESS IN CALIFORNIA Taiwan’s Yani Tseng finished third, ahead of Mexican star Lorena Ochoa, as young South Korean Kim overcame a sleepless night to triumph

AFP , DANVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Kim In-kyung of South Korea celebrates after winning the LPGA Longs Drugs Challenge on Sunday at the Blackhawk Country Club in Danville, California.

PHOTO: AFP

South Korean 20-year-old Kim In-kyung birdied the last two holes in Sunday’s final round to win the LPGA Longs Drugs Challenge by three strokes over American Angela Stanford.

Kim, who began the day with a one-stroke lead over Stanford, fired a one-over par 73 on another windy day at Blackhawk Country Club to finish 72 holes on 10-under par 278, with Stanford firing a 75 to settle for second on 281.

Taiwan’s Yani Tseng was a further shot back after a 72 for 282.

Mexico’s top-ranked Lorena Ochoa was fourth on 284 after a final-round 72.

Kim took a bogey at the second but parred the next 11 holes. After stumbling with bogeys at the 14th and par-3 16th, Kim responded with the title on the line with back-to-back birdies to hold off Stanford.

“Before I started, I just wanted to play, and I didn’t want to change any plans, just hit the fairways and greens and give myself chances,” Kim said.

“I had to get up-and-down from many holes, which I did. I think I did a good job with that,” she said.

On the 333-yard par-four 17th, Kim drove into a bunker 70 yards from the green and hit her second to eight feet for birdie.

On 18 she fired a nine-iron from 144 yards to 25 feet and she drained that for a birdie to put an exclamation point on the win.

“Last three holes left and I had a two shot lead,” said Kim, who earned US$180,000 for the victory, which came in her second season on the US tour. “I only needed one birdie from two holes and then I can’t lose the tournament, so I just wanted to have one birdie and I made two.”

Kim said the par putts early in her round were more nerve-wracking than her birdie putts at 17 and 18. And she admitted she was tired after excitement kept her awake on Saturday night.

“I just couldn’t go to bed,” she said. “I tried to listen to music, but it didn’t help. I tried to draw things, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about golf. I think I slept like one or two hours last night.”

■MADRID MASTERS

AP, MADRID

South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel shot a 5-under 66 on Sunday to win the Madrid Masters by three strokes over Ricardo Gonzalez of Argentina.

Schwartzel, who had led since the halfway point, overcame illness and shoulder and back pains to finish with an overall 19-under 265 at the Club de Campo golf course.

The 24-year-old used two birdies early on to pad his overnight lead of one shot, before getting another three after the turn. Schwartzel’s last European Tour victory also came in the Spanish capital at last year’s Spanish Open.

Schwartzel took the initiative at the par-5 No. 7 after a precise chip from the trees to within three feet allowed the South African to birdie. Gonzalez slid his own birdie putt from five feet wide to drop three shots back.

Gonzalez sank his first birdie two holes later but down the stretch failed to emulate Saturday’s low round of 62 that moved him into contention. The Argentine finished at 16-under after his final round score of 68.

Pablo Larrazabal (67) was a further shot back in third at 15-under, one shot up on fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros (64) and England’s Robert Rock (64)

■TEXAS OPEN

AP, SAN ANTONIO, texas

Zach Johnson won the Texas Open on Sunday for his fourth PGA Tour title, following his third-round 62 with a 64 for a two-stroke victory over Charlie Wi, Mark Wilson and Tim Wilkinson.

Johnson, last year’s Masters champion who entered the week with only one top-10 finish this year, had a 19-under 261 total on the La Cantera Golf Club’s Resort Course.

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