Sports Outside the Beltway

Jiyai Shin wins the Wegmans LPGA

With today’s win she overtakes Cristie Kerr at the top of the LPGA money list for 2009. From AP-

South Korea’s Jiyai Shin picked up her fifth title in 11 months with a seven-stroke victory at the Wegmans LPGA on Sunday.

The 21-year-old star from Seoul shot a 1-under 71 to finish in a downpour at 17-under 271. Kristy McPherson and Yani Tseng each shot a 66, the day’s best score, to surge into a second-place tie at 10 under. One behind were Japan’s Mika Miyazato (71) and rookies Haeji Kang (71) of South Korea and Stacy Lewis (74), the former NCAA champion from Arkansas.

First-round leader Sandra Gal (74) of Germany bogeyed the last hole to drop into a four-way tie for seventh place at 8 under with Cristie Kerr (69), Meaghan Francella (70) and Sun Young Yoo (73).

“I have a lot of tournaments” left to play this year and “maybe I try more wins,” Shin said. “Still, my goal is rookie of the year.”

Shin dedicated her victory again to her mother, who was killed in an auto accident in 2004. “I have my mother’s picture in my course book,” she said.

The Wegmans was Shin’s 2nd victory in 2009. She won in Singapore last March. It will take a major miracle for her not to be LPGA rookie of the year.

Shin could well be 2009 LPGA player of the year also. Today’s win gives Shin over a million dollars in earnings this year and a little over $160,000 lead over Cristie Kerr for leading money winner. Defending LPGA player of the year Lorena Ochoa trails Shin by almost 300,000 even though Super Mex has two wins on the year. It is my opinion that Ochoa is either distracted or uninterested in golf at present. She has skipped playing three or four LPGA tournaments since the beginning of May. The LPGA has so many open weeks, why is she not playing. If Ochoa doesn’t get into gear so far as the Player of the Year race goes, Shin doesn’t lack for challengers. Kerr, In-Kyung Kim, Angela Stanford, Yani Tseng, or even Brittany Lincicome could also come out on top.

Couple of notes about Shin

I never knew her father was a Presbyterian Minister.

Before she teed off on 18, Shin signed autographs for the tournament volunteers. The bubbly Shin is making her way into the hearts of golf fans.

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