Posted by: happyfan08 | May 3, 2009

2009 Korean Women’s Open rd 3

The final round of a Major is always a pressure cooker environment.  The great players find a way to cut through the pressure and get the win.  But the leader after two rounds at this year’s Korean Women’s Open was an untested player named Bo Mi Lee.  Lee had a three shot cushion after the second round.  But would she be able to hang in there and get the win?  Or would one of the proven winners lurking behind her be able to steal the title from her?

Lee started out pretty well.  Playing in the final group with Bo Kyung Kim (last year’s Match Play champion) and Hye In Lee, Bo Mi Lee made an early birdie and mostly pars after that.  Even a bogey on the ninth hole left her in good position at 9 under total.

Bo Mi Lee

Bo Mi Lee

In the group in front of her, however, was the biggest star on the KLPGA tour, Hee Kyung Seo.  Seo has won 7 events in her career, including the last event on tour two weeks ago.  But she has never won a Major, and was hungry like heck to end that.  She started the day six shots behind Lee, but played brilliantly on the front nine to cut slightly into that lead.  Seo finished her first nine with three birdies and no bogies and now sat at 6 under, just three shots behind Lee.

Hee Kyung Seo

Hee Kyung Seo

Meanwhile, Bo Kyung Kim was one under in the same stretch, and had moved to within two of Lee.  So, there was more pressure on Lee as they hit the back nine.

Seo made another birdie on 11 to cut the deficit to two strokes, but Lee was still making pars and seemed confident.  Kim made a bogey but followed with a birdie to remain at 7 under.  But on that same hole, Lee made a bogey to fall to 8 under total.  There was only one stroke separating the top three golfers now.

Seo pounced on it.  On the par 5 16th she made birdie to move to 8 under.  For the first time all week, she was tied for the lead.  Lee and Kim played the hole next.  Kim made the birdie to move into a tie for the lead, but Lee made bogey to fall to 7 under.  Meanwhile, on the par 3 17th, Seo left herself a great birdie opportunity.  But her putt burned the edge, and she remained tied with Kim for the lead.

Hee Kyung Seo

Hee Kyung Seo

It was all going to come down to the final hole.  Neither Kim nor Lee made birdie on 17.  Meanwhile, Seo missed the fairway on 18, but hit a great approach to about 12 feet.  She had a fantastic opportunity for birdie. And she delivered, nailing the putt to the cheers of the crowd while Kim and Lee waited in the fairway.  That putt eliminated Lee and forced Kim to make birdie to force a playoff.  But Kim hit a lousy approach to about 30 feet.  She would need a little magic.

Kim’s putt was absolutely on the correct line, but somehow she just missed making the birdie.  And just like that, amazingly, Hee Kyung Seo was a Major champion.  Seo has done some amazing things in her career, but this win might have been her greatest achievement yet.  To come from six shots down in the final round of the biggest event of the year takes a real champion.  Congratulations to her on her eighth, and biggest, career win!!!

Hee Kyung Seo

Hee Kyung Seo

Hee Kyung Seo

Hee Kyung Seo

1. Hee Kyung Seo 70-71-66 -9
2. Bo Kyung Kim 69-69-70 -8
3. Bo Mi Lee 70-65-74 -7
4. Hye In Lee 71-67-74 -4
Hye Youn Kim 69-70-73 -4
Hee Jung Kim 75-67-70 -4

7. Aram Cho 72-71-70 -3
10. Sun Ju Ahn 71-74-69 -2
13. Ha Neul Kim 73-69-73 -1
18. Ji Na Lim 70-74-72 Even
Young Ran Jo 69-73-74 Even
22. Soo Jin Yang 74-71-72 +1
29. Hyun Hee Moon 74-72-73 +3
So Yeon Ryu 72-75-72 +3
He Yong Choi 76-70-73 +3
33. Il Hee Lee 76-74-70 +4
Soo Young Moon 72-72-76 +4
42. Hae Jung Kim 74-74-73 +5
Bobea Park 75-72-74 +5
Seon Hwa Lee 2 71-73-77 +5
51. Da Ye Na 70-76-76 +6
54. Anna Oh 77-73-73 +7
Ran Hong 77-72-74 +7


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