Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eun Hee Ji Nails 20 Foot Birdie Putt on 72nd Hole to Claim '09 US Women's Open.

Now that's how to win a golf major. Roll in a 20 foot birdie to prevent a playoff. Over, done. Responding to the pressure cooker that is a major championship, Eun Hee Ji had her butterflies flying in formation. The 20 yr. old South Korean launched her career forward by calmly stroking the winning putt to edge hard-charging Candie Kung and become 64th US Women's Open champion. Ji captured the prize in just her 2nd try having finished T42 in last year's Open. She survived a tenuous early start by birdieing 3 of her last 6 holes, including the 72nd and most crucial. Ji ended her round at even par 284, the aforementioned one stroke better than Kung. Ji's playing partner, third round leader Cristie Kerr, carded a final round +4, 75, and tied for 3rd with In-Kyung Kim. Suzann Petersen, Ai Miyazato, and Paula Creamer were locked together in 4th place. Brittany Lincicome's -1, 70, was good enough to land her solo 5th. Upstart crowd favorite and Futures Tour player Jean Reynolds wilted in the final round heat to a +6, 77, but impressed with her ability on a long, tough golf course. Final Full Field Scores.

The truth is that starting the day it was Kerr's tournament to win or lose. Saucon Valley Country Club was softened somewhat by overnight rains, but the diabolical greens regained their bite as the day progressed and they dried. The fact that the winning score was even par is testament to the course and the layout as dictated by the USGA. The 6,740 yard, par 71 behemoth was a true test marked by +400 yard par fours and a 210 yard par three. Chipping on in three and one putting for par was the nom du jour. Survival of the fittest. That's pretty much exactly what you'd want your national champion to claim. A 20 foot birdie putt on the last hole for all the marbles. How do you beat that? You don't. Congratulations to Eun Hee Ji!

Til' next,

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