Archive

Notes: Kerr laments Open collapse

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Cristie Kerr knew her bid for a second U.S. Women’s Open title in three years was in trouble from the start Sunday.

The 2007 champion hit a bad drive on the first hole, finished with a bogey and realized things were suddenly different from the first three rounds, when she had the only sub-par score of the championship.

Things got worse the rest of the way, and, as hard as she tried, Kerr couldn’t find her form, allowing Eun Hee Ji of South Korea to rally for the championship.

“I hit a bad drive on one and made bogey, which is not the way you want to start out, but … it just didn’t feel the same,” Kerr said after a final round 4-over 75 that left her in a tie for third at 2-over 286.

Two years ago, Kerr was crying her eyes out after the final round. When her final putt dropped at Pine Needles, she collapsed to her knees and bawled, then leaped into the arms of her husband.

On the 18th green of Saucon Valley Country Club on Sunday, Kerr was the one giving a congratulatory hug after Ji made a long birdie putt on the 72nd hole to take the title.

“She played great and made some amazing putts coming down the straight, and obviously the birdie on 18, that’s as good as it gets, rolling in that putt,” the 31-year-old Kerr said.

After a bogey at the first, Kerr had a birdie at the third to get back to 2-under. She had consecutive back-to-back bogeys at the fifth and sixth and dropped into black number for the first time in the championship with a bogey at the 13th.

Her troubles continued down the stretch as she sent a birdie putt past the hole at the 16th and missed the comebacker, settling for a bogey that dropped her to 2-over.

Kerr had a chance to get to 1-under before Ji’s dramatic winning putt, but couldn’t coax the ball into the hole.

“Obviously today wasn’t my day,” said Kerr, who had 35 putts in the final round. “Nothing went in.

“Even the good putts I hit didn’t go in, and that’s kind of tough. You need to get that good feeling and that good momentum on the greens at an Open. And I played great for probably three-and-a-half days and played bad for a half day.”

• • •

ELITE COMPANY: Cristie Kerr squandered a chance in her bid to join some elite company: Only 14 players have won the women’s title more than once.

Two-time victors include Karrie Webb (2000, 2001), Juli Inkster (1999, 2002), Patty Sheehan (1992, 1994), Meg Mallon (1991, 2004), Betsy King (1989, 1990), JoAnne Carner (1971, 1976), Donna Caponi (1969, 1970) and Louise Suggs (1949, 1950).

Three-time champions include Annika Sorenstam (1995, 1996, 2006), Hollis Stacy (1977, 1978, 1984), Sue Berning (1968, 1972, 1973) and Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1948, 1950, 1954).

Mickey Wright (1958, 1959, 1961, 1964) and Betsy Rawls (1951, 1953, 1957, 1960) have won four times.

• • •

A MULLIGAN: The championship’s third-round pairings featured a rematch of sorts.

Amanda Blumenherst, the 2008 Women’s Amateur champion and two-time Curtis Cup team member, was paired with Maria Jose Uribe. The two last met in the final of the ‘07 Women’s Amateur.

Uribe bested Blumenherst for that amateur title at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana in a match-play final that went the full 36 holes.

The 19-year-old Uribe, of Columbia, got the best of this matchup, too, carding a 2-under 69. The 22-year-old Blumenherst had a 2-over 73.

• • •

DOWN THE ROAD: The Women’s Open shifts across the state of Pennsylvania for 2010, to Oakmont Country Club, where Patty Sheehan won the first of her two Open titles in 1992.

In 2011, the Women’s Open shifts to The Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado, and then to Blackwolf Run Golf Club in Wisconsin in 2012.

• • •

USGA’S FRIENDS IN PA: The Women’s Open at Saucon Valley was the seventh time the event was contested in Pennsylvania and the 78th time a USGA championship was held in the state.

That count will continue to rise with the Walker Cup scheduled for Merion Golf Club in September, the Women’s Open moving to Oakmont Country Club in 2010, the 2013 U.S. Open returning to Merion and the 2015 women’s championship scheduled for Lancaster Country Club.

• • •

NO. 1 FINISHES 26TH: Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa shot a final-round 1-over 72, tying for 26th at 9-over 293 and failing in her bid to claim her first Women’s Open.

The Mexican star was tied for second after the first round, then fell out of contention after a second-round 79. She failed to make up ground Saturday, carding a 73.

Ochoa has won the 2007 Women’s British Open and 2008 Kraft Nabisco.

• • •

DIVOTS: Morgan Pressel, a major winner with her victory at the Kraft Nabisco at the age of 18 in April 2007, had a final-round 73 and was tied for 13th at 7-over. … Inbee Park, the 2008 champion, tied for 26th at 9-over. … First-round leader Na Yeon Choi of South Korea bounced back from consecutive over-par rounds and closed with an even-par 71 to tie for ninth. … Laura Davies, the 1987 champion who competed in the field on a special exemption, tied for 17th at 8-over after a 72.

STORY COMMENTS
Show Hide