U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
Kimberly Kim was on the Newport Country Club course until about 8 p.m. on Saturday and teed off at 7 a.m. yesterday.
Kim upbeat after final-day grind
NEWPORT, R.I. » After a round lasting 5 hours and 38 minutes on Saturday, 36 holes of championship-caliber golf was just too much to ask of Kimberly Kim yesterday.
Kim, at 14 the youngest player in the field of the U.S. Women's Open at Newport Country Club, made the cut with relative ease by shooting par in Saturday's second round. But it was an odyssey that lasted until around 8 p.m., and Kim had to get up early to prepare for a 7 a.m. tee time yesterday.
That, and a blustery wind, contributed to rounds of 78 and 83 for the Mesa, Ariz., resident who still calls Hilo home.
After going into the day 6 over par and in the middle of the pack, Kim finished the tourney 25 over and tied with Kim Saiki for 66th place, ahead of just one other player who made the cut, Lynnette Brooky.
Kim made six birdies in the first two rounds, but only one yesterday. It came in the third round on the par-3 No. 5, when she sank a 30-foot putt.
That was the lone highlight yesterday. Kim posted more bogeys and double bogeys (18) than pars (17).
She made just 17 fairways and 15 greens in regulation. Her average drive dropped from 257.5 yards on Saturday to around 235 yards yesterday.
"It's just that I was a little tired and I didn't play well," Kim said. "I went to sleep past midnight and got up at 5."
Kim, the youngest player to make the U.S. Women's Open cut since Michelle Wie in 2003, leaves Rhode Island today for Evergreen, Colo., and the AJGA Tournament of Champions. Stephanie Kono, a 16-year-old Punahou student who played here but didn't make the cut, will also be in that tournament.
Despite a rough and long final day, Kim said she enjoyed her first LPGA major.
"It was definitely a great experience," she said. "It gives me some confidence."