Boca amateur Pressel finishes 2nd at U.S. Women's Open
Birdie Kim takes championship
AP Golf Writer
June 26, 2005, 6:24 PM EDT
CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- She gave herself the nickname ``Birdie'' to distinguish herself from the other girls on the LPGA Tour. All it took was one shot _ one spectacular birdie from the bunker -- to make Birdie Kim a most unlikely U.S. Women's Open champion Sunday.
Going shot-for-shot with 17-year-old Morgan Pressel in a tense duel at Cherry Hills, the 23-year-old South Korean was trying to get close for par when she holed a 30-yard bunker shot from across the 18th green, raising her arms as the ball disappeared in the back of the cup.
Pressel, poised to become the youngest major champion in golf history, was walking up the fairway in the group behind when she saw the reaction of the record gallery. She put both hands over her head in disbelief, realizing her dream of winning was all but gone.
Kim's victory put an end to Annika Sorenstam's pursuit of a Grand Slam, and it put the kids in their place. Even so, her victory might have been even more shocking.
In two years on the LPGA Tour, she had made only 10 cuts in 34 starts. Her career earnings were $79,832.
A shot that ranks among the most dramatic in golf gave her a 1-over 72 and a two-shot victory over a pair of teenage amateurs -- Pressel and 19-year-old Brittany Lang.
Kim finished at 3-over 287 and earned $560,000, the biggest payoff in women's golf.
``I can't believe it,'' she said. ``I don't think I was going to make it. I was trying my best to make par.''
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