Sports Outside the Beltway

Jimin Kang wins Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

It was her first win since 2005. From AP-

Jimin Kang won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia for her second LPGA Tour title, beating Juli Inkster by a stroke Sunday when the 50-year-old Hall of Famer bogeyed the final hole.

Kang, the 30-year-old South Korean player who went to high school in Edmonds, Wash., and starred at Arizona State, made a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th for a 6-under 65 and a 9-under total at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

“Speechless,” Kang said. “That’s not that easy to do for me. I played solid. I hit a lot of putts. As you guys can tell, my score was good enough to win a tournament, and you know, it’s been a while. So I’m trying to soak this in.

“Oh, my God, I can’t believe I won!”

Inkster finished with her second straight 67. She birdied Nos. 15-17 to take the lead, but couldn’t hold on in her bid to break the LPGA Tour age record of 46 years, 8 months set by Beth Daniel in the 2003 Canadian Women’s Open.

Playing in the group behind Kang, Inkster pushed her second shot into the right greenside bunker at 18, then nearly holed out from the sand before two-putting for bogey.

“When I miss it, I miss it right,” Inkster said about her approach shot. “It was a three-quarter shot and I left it out there. I played well all day.

“I really enjoy what I do. It’s nice to be able to compete.”

Kang, also the 2005 LPGA Corning Classic winner, birdied three of the last four holes and earned $270,000 in the inaugural event.

Kang won Corning in dramatic style. She made a hole-in-one on the 15th hole Sunday and edged Annika Sorenstam for the win also.

After a so-so 2006, Kang was very consistent golfer(Her standings on the money list falling between 42nd and 56th each year) from 2007 to her win today. Still her win was a surprise to me today. Kang had rarely contended in those years and I long since pegged her as one of those Korean players(Shi Hyun Ahn, Birdie Kim, Joo Mi Kim, Meena Lee) who win once or twice then fade slowly or quickly from view.

Juli Inkster continues to show she has has game at age 50. She had two top 10′s coming into Malaysia and was in the top 45 money winners. She improved that today and her chances of qualifying for next year’s Solheim Cup team.

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