What a great finish to the SBS Open at Turtle Bay to see Annika back in fine form and beat the field by 2 strokes, capturing her 70th career win. Yes, it’s true that Lorena Ochoa wasn’t there, but almost everyone else was, so this was no cake-walk.
And of course the good news story was Russy Gulyanamitta who shot a 68 for a tie for 2nd place. You know she is a true “Cinderella story” by Googling her for images. The only shot I could find was her official LPGA picture. Hey, I have more pics on the web than she does!
She was so cute on the 18th green when she made that 30+ foot putt for birdie. I haven’t seen someone that excited in a long time. In her post-round interview with Mike Ritz, she shared that she only decided to play pro golf after she graduated university in Bangkok with an Industrial Engineering degree in 1998. Wow…smart cookie!
And again, another strange thing I noticed..she still wears regular glasses. Don’t you find that strange in an athlete? I guess with this win, she can now afford Lasik surgery.
Now the sad story of the day. Poor Angela Park! She was was assessed a two-stroke penalty for slow play on the par-4 10th that cost her about $60,000 and moved her into a tie for 5th overall, instead 2nd on her own.
The officials said she violated the LPGA pace of play rule on her 2nd, 3rd and 4th shots on the 10th hole. I was shocked to hear this because I’ve watched tons of PGA events where players were “put on the clock”, but rarely ever penalized for slow play – especially if they were in contention. I’m not sure how much warning Park got, but I agree with her – it seems a bit unfair (and I’m the first to complain about slow play – I just hate it).
But, Park said she wasn’t holding up anyone behind her and I believe her. I can only imagine how upset she was. But boy…did she perform after that! Park birdied three of the next four holes to get back within a stroke of the lead. How she did that, I can’t imagine. “I was so mad out there,” she said. “I was flying through the course on the back nine. I was so frustrated.”
I’m really impressed with Angela – she really held her composure on camera, although I hear she was in tears after the round. I would have been in tears on the 11th hole!
Anyway, an exciting first event of the year! I can’t wait to watch the Fields Open in Hawaii next week. We’ll miss Lorena, but the field is still extremely strong and I am sure Annika (and the rest) will put on a great show for us addicts once again.
Thailand’s Russamee stuns LPGA with her second place
AP TIM MAITLAND
19 Feb 2008
Hawaii — Thailand’s Russamee Gulyanamitta stunned the world’s leading women’s golf tour by emerging from almost total obscurity to challenge the legendary Annika Sorenstam for the LPGA’s SBS open title on Sunday, before settling for a share of second… read more…