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Yoo-Hoo! Sun Young Yoo Wins Kraft Nabisco Championship
Sun Young Yoo birdied the first playoff hole to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The 25-year-old sank an 18-foot putt on the par-5 18th at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course to beat fellow South Korean I.K. Kim in the LPGA Tour's first major of the season.
Yoo and Kim ended 72 holes tied at 9-under 279 after both players closed with 69s. Kim had a great chance to win in regulation. The 23-year-old birdied three of the four holes between Nos. 14-17 to sweep into position for the first major of her career.
All she needed was a par on the final hole.
But Kim, a three-time LPGA winner, incredibly, three-putted from 18 feet on the par-5 closer - with her third missing from less than a foot - to bogey and fall into a tie with Yoo, who'd already completed her round.
Not only was the gallery at Mission Hills Country Club and TV audience shocked, so was Yoo. "I'm speechless right now," Yoo said at greenside right after securing the victory and just before she and her caddie made the winner's traditional jump into Poppy's Pond alongside the 18th green.
"I played pretty solid," Yoo added. "I was hoping for luck and I got lucky."
No. 1-ranked Yani Tseng was not her dominant self Sunday. The 23-year-old Taiwanese superstar, who won three of the five tournaments this season before the Kraft Nabisco, shared the 54-hole lead with Sweden's Karin Sjodin and seemed in prime position for her sixth major.
But Tseng got off to a rocky start, carding three bogeys on the front nine for a 39. Her vaunted game got back on track on the inward half with two birdies, and she could have been the third party in the playoff but just missed a birdie try on the final hole to get to 279.
Despite not making the playoff, Tseng was classy afterward, commiserating with Kim. "I feel so bad for her," Tseng said. "I wish she had made it."
American Stacy Lewis (66), Amy Yang (69), Hee Kyung Seo (71) and Sjodin (74) shared fourth at 7-under 281.
Natalie Gulbis fired the low round of the tournament, a 7-under 65 that included three birdies and a bogey on the front nine and six birdies and a bogey on the back. The American finished tied for eight with LPGA Hall of Fame member Se Ri Pak (71) and Na Yeon Choi (72) at 6-under 282.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/leaderboard.aspx?TournamentID=27859.
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