ADT C'ship: Christina Kim recovers

Updated: 19 November 2007 10:08 IST

Christina Kim birdied the 18th hole to claim the eighth spot in the final round and a chance to win the $1 million prize at the ADT Championship.

ADT C'ship: Christina Kim recovers

West Palm Beach, Florida:

Christina Kim birdied the 18th hole to claim the eighth and final spot in the final round and a chance to win the $1 million (euro680,000) prize at the ADT Championship on Saturday.

Kim hit a 7-iron that stopped 2 feet behind the last hole, and after putting it in before cheering, sun-baked fans, she charged over to caddie Donna Southam and the pair leaped for a body bump to celebrate the moment.

It got even better when Nicole Castrale hit her approach into the water, just as she did in regulation, to fall into the playoff.

So concluded another nerve-racking afternoon at Trump International, where the field was halved on Saturday and eight players qualified for the 18-hole shootout on Sunday with every reason to dream of the biggest payoff in women's golf.

Lorena Ochoa was solid as ever, playing bogey-free for a 6-under 66 to tie for the low round on Saturday with Paula Creamer, who was helped by a wedge she holed out for eagle on the par-5 15th.

Karrie Webb, whose 50-foot birdie putt on Friday enabled her to avoid a playoff, had no stress in her round of 68.

The other qualifiers were US Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis, Sarah Lee and Mi Hyun Kim, who had the best turnaround of all.

Mi Hyun Kim was at 5 under with five holes to play and still in good shape after bogeys at the 14th and 16th.

But she caught a plugged lie in the bunker on the 18th that led to double bogey, and minutes later, she was in a 4-for-2 playoff starting on the 17th tee.

One swing changed everything.

Mi Hyun Kim hit a hybrid 5-iron to 7 feet for birdie to earn a spot in the final round.

"I feel so sad after that," she said of her double bogey. "Anyway, I made it. Scores are zero tomorrow."

Just like the third round, the scores will be wiped out for the final 18 holes, where the winner gets $1 million (euro680,000) and second place gets $100,000 (euro68,300), the biggest disparity of prize money in golf.

"It's all-or-nothing," Creamer said.

But there were plenty of players who felt like nothing when they left Trump International.

Sophie Gustafson endured a roller-coaster round in which she followed two bogeys by driving the par-4 sixth green and chipping in for eagle, running off four straight birdies to get safe, they finishing double bogey-bogey to fall into the playoff at 1-under 71.

Her tee shot went through the green and into the stream to the left, and she was out.

Juli Inkster never even got that chance. She was on top of her game for the front nine, when she went out in 32. But a three-putt bogey on the 13th started her fall.

She took bogey on the 16th, then hit into the water with a 7-iron and made double bogey and finished one shot out of the playoff.

Morgan Pressel made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the back nine and also missed out.

Castrale was at 2 under until she hit into the water on the 18th and did well to get up and down for bogey.

As she fought back tears, she learned that Gustafson had made bogey on the 18th with a fat bunker shot, meaning there would be a playoff.

"I've still got a chance," she said.

But it lasted only two holes, with Christina Kim hitting a clutch shot and delivering a celebration rarely seen in golf.

In another unusual twist to this event, the final eight players were allowed to pick their starting times for Sunday in order of how they finished.

Ochoa went first and took the final group, where she will play with Gulbis. Creamer and Mi Hyun Kim will be in the third group, preceded by Webb and Lee. Cristina Kim and Kerr will be first out.

Ochoa's wanting the final group was perhaps a sign of her confidence.

"I feel like I have a better chance," Ochoa said, comparing this with last year when she struggled to get into the final round.

He said, he felt solid as it has given him confidence.

Topics : Golf
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