Kim fails to keep pace as Sorenstam cruises to victoryKim Mi-hyun was unable to maintain her early lead and tied for fifth place with Grace Park at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which ended yesterday.
Annika Sorenstam took home the trophy in the first major LPGA championship of the year, which was held at the Mission Hills Country Club in California. This was the fifth straight win for Sorenstam and the eighth major victory of her career.
Kim led the first round with Rosie Jones and Karen Stupples at three under par, but finished the second round at one under and the third and fourth rounds at par.
Suffering from back pain, last year’s champion Grace Park finished the first round at one over, but saved five shots in the final fourth round, rising to fifth place, though it was not enough to make up for losing four shots in the second round.
Park plans to take one month off and will skip the Takefuji Classic beginning on May 15.
Right after the event, Park left for Korea to get treatment for her back pain.
Pak Se-ri tied for 27th place at five over par with two other players. Still unable to overcome her long slump, Pak also plans to leave the LPGA scene for one month. Pak recently moved to the Los Angeles area, near the Bighorn Golf Club, and intends to make changes in her swing with her father’s help.
Sorenstam finished with a 15-under-par 273, eight shots ahead of runner-up Rosie Jones, 46, who is retiring at the end of the season. This was her third victory in the championship ― she won in 2001 and 2002 ― and her 59th career win.
Her victory had been anticipated after the third round, where she shot a six-under 66 to open up a five-shot lead. She had an easy win as she saved four shots in the final round.
Sixteen-year-old Michelle Wie ranked 14th at an even 288. Wie ranked ninth in 2003 and fourth last year in the same tournament.
Japan’s hopeful, Ai Miyazato, a teenager who was making her debut in the LPGA, came in 44th. Miyazato, who is compared to Wie, was paired with her in the first round.
Among other Korean players, Han Hee-won was tied for 17th at one over, while Ahn Shi-hyun was tied for 19th with Kim Young at two over.
by Limb Jae-un