She won the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship in a 3-way playoff. On the second hole of sudden death, Shin rolled in a birdie putt to defeat Angela Stanford and Sun Young Yoo.
Going into today, Shin was 7 shots behind the leader Song Hee Kim. Kim had over 700,000 in earnings for the year but had yet to crack the winner’s circle. Kim was never able to gain momentum today and missed a birdie putt on 18 that would have enabled her to join the playoff. Instead Kim finished tied for 4th.
Korean-American golfer Jane Park made an early Sunday. She pulled into a tie for the lead at the 5th hole. After that, Park played the next 12 holes in 8 over par and finished tied for 21st.
Shi-Hyun ‘Cinderella’ Ahn had her best finish of the 2009. Unable to birdie 18, she finished tied for 4th with Song Hee Kim. South Koreans were all over the leaderboard. They accounted for 8 of the top 13 finishers in the tournament.
The golf was on at 1 p.m. Florida time but I didn’t begin watching till almost the end of regulation play. Instead I had the Miami Dolphin game on. The less said about Atlanta’s 19-7 win over the fins, the better.
Shin shot a final round 64 to post a score of nine under par. Then Shin had to wait over two hours to see if anyone caught or beat her.
Stanford eagled the 18th hole to catch Shin and Yoo made a birdie at the closing hole.
The playoff started at the par 5 18th. Shin and Stanford came up short in their efforts to drive the green in two. Yoo hit the green but her ball came in hot and ended up in a back bunker. All three golfers hit their 3rd shots to within 5 feet of the hole and each made their birdie putts.
Next came the 15th hole, a par-3 with water in front. Yoo, named course clown by the South Korean players on tour, came dangerously close to the water but ended up on dry land short of the green. Stanford and Shin hit the green and ended up 30 and 12 feet away respectively. Yoo was the first to play and put her 2nd shot about two feet from the hole. Stanford’s birdie putt narrowly missed. Shin rolled her putt in for the victory.
As Shin was being interviewed for Golf Channel, she received the customary dousing in champagne that LPGA tournament winners get these days. Except it was not done by any of the South Korean players but Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel instead.
With her 3rd win, Shin has the most of any golfer on the LPGA Tour in 2009, Shin has climbed to the top of the money list. She leads Cristie Kerr by a little over $100,000. Shin also has the most points for LPGA Player of the Year. No South Korean, not even Se Ri Pak, has ever won player of the year or been leading money winner for a year. The LPGA still has two months to go before finishing up for the year and both races have anywhere from 3-5 players competing for them. I predicted Shin to be both Rookie and Player of the Year before the season started, and I hope she pulls it off. Then I’ll have at least(but not many more if any at all) two golf precdictions right for this year. I picked Brittany Lincicome to be comeback player of the year. Lincicome has that award put away already with her Kraft Nabisco win.
Shin’s win has to lock her up the 2009 Rookie of the Year award. Yes she is eligible for it in spite of winning three LPGA events in 2008. She did that while not a tour member, so Shin is considered a rookie in 2009.
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