Posted by: happyfan08 | January 20, 2009

2008 Awards: Shot of the Year

Seon Hwa Lee’s long bomb on the 72nd hole, Ginn Tribute

When Seon Hwa Lee missed the green, it looked like her chances to win this event and end the Korean victory drought had gotten much worse.  But she nailed this incredible 40 foot birdie putt from the fringe to move into the lead, which forced Karrie Webb to also make birdie to tie.  They went to a playoff, and Lee claimed her first win of the season.  Drought over.


Honorable Mentions

Se Ri Pak’s first career hole in one, Canadian Women’s Open

It’s pretty amazing to consider that, for all the great things Se Ri Pak had accomplished throughout her career, she had never made a hole in one in tournament play until this year.  Last year, she did make a hole in one on the 17th hole at the ADT Championship, but it was during a practice round.  She shouted at the ball ‘Not now!  Later!’  And indeed, an ace on that hole during the actual match would have helped her a lot more.


Se Ri dunked her first ace that counted during the third round of the 2008 CN Canadian Women’s Open.  She was teamed with Annika Sorenstam of all people, and was trying to make up ground on the leaders.  She had already made birdies on her two previous holes, and the eagle on this, the fifth hole, moved her into a tie for the lead. 


Ji Yai Shin, 4th round, British Women’s Open

By the time Ji Yai Shin reached the back nine at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, she already had the lead and was in her full juggernaut mode.  On the 13th hole, she buried a staggering 45 foot birdie putt that put the icing on the cake of her first Major victory.  No one came close to her after that.


Ji Yai Shin, Hole in one, Hite Cup

Shin electrified the crowd at the Hite Cup, one of the most important events on the KLPGA tour, when she made an ace on the 16th hole in the second round.  She won a BMW with that one swing of the club, and would go on to win the tournament the next day, outlasting sentimental favorite Soo Yun Kang down the stretch.


Amazing shots at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational

The Korean ladies really treated the fans to a show at this event, the final one in Mexico in 2008.  In round one, Seon Hwa Lee and Na Yeon Choi were playing together.  Lee put her approach on 18 to within a foot of the hole.  Not to be outdone, Choi then put her approach ten feet past the hole, but it snapped back to roll into the cup for an eagle!


In Round 2, it was Jane Park’s turn to dazzle when she sunk an approach shot on another hole for an eagle.


In round 3, Sun Young Yoo, playing with Juli Inkster, made a hole in one, electrifying the crowd.  She high fived Inkster and gratefully acknowledged the applause all the way until she picked the ball out of the hole.


Most Dramatic Hole

17th Hole, Final round, Longs Drugs Challenge:

In-Kyung Kim was in a pitched battle for this title with Angela Stanford and Yani Tseng, both of whom were in her group with her on the final day.  Kim made her fair share of mistakes, but fortunately for her, Stanford and Tseng were also struggling, and so Kim was able to cling onto the lead as the tournament wound down.


The par 4 17th was a very unusual hole at this tournament.  The tee was on a hill, and the longer drivers, like Tseng, were capable of reaching the green in one shot.  Inky was not long enough to do that, but she had to make sure to stay out of trouble off the tee to give herself a chance to maintain her lead.


Both Stanford and Tseng were OK off the tee, but Inky fanned her drive left.  She was lucky to wind up in a fairway bunker; a little more to the left and she might have been out of bounds.  But she had a tricky lie, although only about 95 yards from the flag.  Stanford and Tseng went first, and both hit the green; Stanford was close enough to have a great birdie try.  Now the pressure was really on Inky to hit a good shot.


Which is just what she did.  In fact, she hit a great shot, landing just a few feet from the hole.  Tseng and Stanford then both sank their birdies, once again putting the pressure on Kim.  And once again, she came through, nailing the birdie to maintain her two shot lead.  She would go on to win the tournament with another birdie on 18, but it was on the 17th that she really put it away.


In-Kyung Kim celebrates her first career LPGA win

In-Kyung Kim celebrates her first career LPGA win


Honorable Mentions:

Seon Hwa and Karrie Webb both birdie final hole, Ginn Tribute

See ‘Best Playoff’ for details


Shin makes birdie three times on 17th, nearly four times, ADT Championship

The key hole at the final LPGA event of the year is probably the par 3 17th.  It’s a treacherous hole, with water all along the right side and a small creek on the left, and a huge cliff and waterfall on the back side of the green.  Anything other than a fairly solid shot can invite disaster.  This year, like many years past, bad performances on this hole could prove costly.  Just ask Seon Hwa Lee, who was tied for the lead with a million dollars on the line when she reached this hole, only to hit her tee shot long into the rocks and wind up with a double bogey.


Ji Yai Shin played this hole brilliantly all four days at the ADT.  On day one, she hit the ball to a few feet for birdie.  She got close again on Friday for another birdie, then left herself a longer putt on Saturday, but made that birdie, too.  On Sunday, with only a two shot lead over Karrie Webb, Shin put her tee shot to within 5 feet and made par.  In four days, she played the hole at 3 under par, by far the best of anyone in the field.


See ‘Clutch Performance of the Year’ for more details!


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