Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Legendary Rumble

After Lydia Ko and Jiyai Shin finished the third round of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in a tie for the lead at -17 -- and several shots ahead of the rest of the field -- GC decided to do a live broadcast of the final round. After all, if Ko won she would be the first amateur ever to win two LPGA events.

What GC got may not have been what they expected, but it was pretty cool all the same.



In the first two holes Ko went double-bogey, bogey to fall 4 strokes behind Shin, who went birdie-par. By the end of five holes Ko had added 2 birdies and Shin a bogey, leaving them separated by a single stroke. Those two would go back and forth for the remainder of the round.

The unexpected came from Yani Tseng, who started the day 8 strokes back and made things worse by starting her round with a bogey. She then mounted a charge, shooting birdie-birdie-birdie-par-eagle in her next 5 holes and adding 3 more birdies on the back nine. She posted -7 on the day, finishing at -16.

In the end, Lydia just couldn't get back the form that set a course record -10 in the first round. She struggled with bogeys the rest of the day while Shin popped in birdies at 14 and 15 to reach -18.

Shin won at -18, while Yani blew everyone away with a runner-up finish at -16 and Lydia managed a solo third at -14. Still, GC must be pretty excited. They took a gamble on a historic finish and ended up with an exciting battle between two legends and a legend-to-be. Plus we learned a few other things:
  • Jiyai Shin showed that she's finally healthy again and ready to play.
  • Yani Tseng proved that she's not ready to give up that #1 position without a fight.
  • And while Lydia Ko didn't make the history most folks expected, she's now won 3 of 13 professional starts. That's pretty heady stuff for a 15-year-old amateur.
All-in-all, it sounds pretty legendary to me. Looks like the 2013 LPGA season is off to a strong start.

The photos came from the player profile pages at LPGA.com.

2 comments:

  1. Yes, Yani getting into contention was a big surprise. Unfortunatly she had too much ground to make up. The leader didn't play great golf over the weekend, but Jiyai played smart and didn't make many mistakes.

    On another note Jiyai, once again, was warned for slow play. Lydia was always ready to take her shot, watching Jiyai was like watching paint dry. Morgan Pressel was penalized at Sybase last year, and she looked fast compared to this.

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  2. I thought they were playing too slow also. But at least the LPGA takes action... the long rounds probably won't last for long.

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