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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > LPGA > Atlanta Charity Championship > Round 4
 

CHARITY CHAMPIONSHIP RELATED STORIES





Sung Ah Yim wins as Sorenstam shoots 75

Sung Ah Yim picked up her first LPGA Tour victory in the most unlikely way possible: a final-round collapse by Annika Sorenstam that allowed the 22-year-old South Korean to win by two strokes Sunday.

After three straight rounds in the 60s gave Sorenstam the lead going to the final day of the Florida's Natural Charity Championship, she slumped to a 3-over 75 that left her in a three-way tie for second with Karrie Webb and Cristie Kerr.

Tied for the lead going to the next-to-last hole, Sorenstam knocked her tee shot out of bounds and took double bogey.

"It was not a very good day for me," Sorenstam said. "I didn't play well at all. I just want to forget about this day as quickly as possible."

Yim, in just her second year on the tour, played in the final group with Sorenstam. Amazingly, the part-time university student was the one who held it together at the end, scrambling for a 72 that was good enough to win. She got up and down from the fringe on three straight holes before knocking in a short birdie putt at the par-5 18th to finish at 16-under 272.

"I've never had that much concentration," Yim said. "I could hear my heart beating."

Sorenstam was seeking her second straight win at Eagle's Landing Country Club near Atlanta and the 68th LPGA Tour victory of her Hall of Fame victory. She had won 11 straight events with a lead going to the final round -- a streak that dated to the 2004 Evian Masters.

Tied with Yim heading to No. 17, Sorenstam pushed her drive into the trees along the right side of the fairway -- her right hand flying off the club as the ball soared toward the out-of-bounds line.

Unsure at first where her ball ended up, Sorenstam lingered at the tee while a tournament official ran all the way across the fairway to look for it.

Sorenstam started to walk toward the fairway, then got the dreaded signal: the ball was a goner. She turned around, teed up another one and hit again -- her third shot, with Yim already sitting safely in the middle of the fairway.

"That was one of my worst swings of the week," Sorenstam said. "Bad timing."

She nearly pulled off a remarkable save, putting her fourth stroke within 5 feet of the flag. But the bogey putt slid by the hole -- one of a half-dozen attempts she missed from that range.

Yim went to the final hole knowing that a par would probably be good enough to win. She laid up with her second shot, then stuck a wedge right alongside the flag. Sorenstam had a shot at eagle, but her chip from the second cut behind the green rolled tantalizingly past the left edge of the cup.

That took the pressure off Yim, who rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt to win.

Countrywoman Jeong Jang, who finished three shots back, ran onto the green and doused Yim with two cans of Coke. Yim then slung her ball into the crowd sitting on the grassy bank behind the green -- an errant throw that had the fans ducking to avoid getting hit.

Clearly, she still needs to work on her victory celebration, which isn't surprising since she had never finished higher than third until this week.

"I'm really sorry about that," Yim said. "I have a really bad shoulder. Every time I threw the ball toward my caddie today, he was slapping it everywhere."

Sorenstam was the clear favorite heading into the final day. She won this tournament by a record 10 strokes a year ago, and was ahead of Yim by one shot after putting up a 64 on Saturday.

No one else was within five strokes of the lead.

"Sometimes, it doesn't go your way," moaned Sorenstam, who hasn't had to say that very often. "I hit a few bad shots, a few bad putts, and it just accumulated. Fortunately for me, I'm playing next week. I've got to forget about this as soon as I can."

Webb, playing for the first time since her victory in the opening major of the year, closed with a 70 but never caught the final group.

Kerr did, grabbing the top spot with consecutive birdies at the 13th and 14th holes. Like Sorenstam, she ruined her chances with a double bogey.

At No. 15, Kerr hit her approach into the crowd, then pitched her next shot into the second cut on the back side of the green. She chipped to about 10 feet and missed the putt. As she walked toward 17, she flung her ball into some mucky weeds.

Kerr bounced back with a birdie at No. 16, but parred out to finish with a 69.

 




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