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Yoo downs Kim to win Kraft Nabisco



Rancho Mirage, CA (Sports Network) - I.K. Kim missed a one-foot par putt on the final hole of regulation that would have given her the first LPGA major championship of her career.

Instead, Sun Young Yoo birdied the first playoff hole Sunday to beat Kim and win the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Yoo, who was in the clubhouse first, carded a three-under 69 to end at nine- under-par 279.

Kim, who also closed with a 69, birdied 16 and 17 to grab a one-stroke lead heading to the final hole of regulation. She rolled her birdie putt within a foot of the hole on No. 18. However, Kim's par putt spun out and she dropped into a tie with Yoo.

"I was four shots back on 14 or 15, and I just felt like, it's the Kraft and the finishing holes are really tough, so I thought I still had a chance," Kim said in an interview with Golf Channel. "What happened on 18 is a little bit unexpected.

"I'm just not happy because it's a major championship and I felt like I did a lot of good things. Everything happens for a reason."

The duo returned to the 18th hole on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club for the extra session. Both players found the green with their third shots.

Kim's 25-foot birdie effort came up short.

Yoo, the 2010 Sybase Match Play Championship winner, rolled in her 12-footer for birdie to win her first major title.

"I don't have any words to describe how I feel right now. I played solid today. I was hoping for some luck. I'm just very happy," Yoo said in a televised interview.

Women's world No. 1 Yani Tseng struggled all day as she carded a one-over 73. She ended alone in third at minus-eight.

Stacy Lewis, the 2011 champion, posted a six-under 66 to share fourth place at seven-under-par 281 with third-round co-leader Karin Sjodin (74), Amy Yang (69) and Hee Kyung Seo (71).

Natalie Gulbis fired a seven-under 65, the low round of the week, to end in a tie for eighth at minus-six. She was joined there by Se Ri Pak (71) and world No. 2 Na Yeon Choi (72).

Sjodin and Tseng shared the lead entering the round, but Tseng was four back after five holes after she had a pair of bogeys to go along with Sjodin's eagle on the second.

Sjodin led by as many as three, but three bogeys from the sixth to the 10th dropped her behind Seo, who had five birdies in the first 12 holes to jump to 11-under.

However, Seo bogeyed the final four holes to tumble down the leaderboard.

Yoo, who was in the third-to-last group, played the front nine in even-par with two bogeys and two birdies. She converted back-to-back birdie efforts from the 11th to move to eight-under.

The 25-year-old Yoo was still three back of Seo at the time, but a birdie on the 15th helped her cut into the deficit. Yoo parred the final three holes and waited to see what would happen.

Kim had two birdies and 12 pars through 14 holes. After a birdie on the 16th, she drained a 20-footer for birdie at 17 to grab the lead at 10-under.

The South Korean played 18 exactly how she needed to, until her fifth shot. She found the fairway off the tee, then laid up in the short grass. Kim's third stopped just over 10 feet from the hole.

If that putt fell, no one could match her. Kim's birdie effort trickled just by the hole. She had no more than a foot for par, but the putt hit the right edge of the cup and spun out.

A stunned Kim tapped in for bogey and it was off to the playoff.

In the final group, Tseng was the only one with chance. She knocked her third to about 20 feet. If that birdie putt fell, she would have been in the playoff as well. However, Tseng's birdie try just missed the right side of the cup and she had to settle for third place.

NOTES: Yoo earned $300,000 for the win...Kim fell to 0-3 in playoffs on the LPGA Tour...After two weeks off, the LPGA Tour heads to Hawaii for the inaugural LPGA LOTTE Championship, which is being played from Wednesday to Saturday.

04/01 22:12:42 ET


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