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Yi fights off Pressel's charge to win Farr in playoff


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POSTED: Monday, July 06, 2009

SYLVANIA, OHIO » The gallery was going wild. There was no question what had happened.

Eunjung Yi watched from the 17th tee and knew that Morgan Pressel, playing just ahead of her, had holed a lob wedge from 70 yards for eagle that had erased what had only a few holes earlier had been a six-shot lead.

Rather than let her mind wander or allow herself to be distracted by all of the people cheering for Pressel, Yi shut everything out.

“;I didn't think about her,”; she said. “;I thought about my golf.”;

Yi recovered to roll in a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Pressel and capture her first LPGA Tour title yesterday in what might be the final Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

Pressel, a runner-up for the second time in three years at the Farr, tipped her hat to the winner.

“;She won the tournament,”; Pressel said. “;She made a birdie on the playoff hole. I had my opportunities.”;

The 21-year-old Yi, the 2005 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links winner, began the day with a four-shot lead. She birdied two of the first three holes to go up six shots. Yet she remained oblivious; she never looked at a leaderboard and didn't ask her caddie about her status.

“;I was just focusing on my golf,”; she said. “;I didn't see the scoreboards at all. I just hit the driver, the second shots—I was very centered.”;

Pressel, chasing her third career victory, pulled even by holing that wedge shot on the par-5 17th hole.

Yi, from South Korea, finished at 18-under 266 to earn the $210,000 first prize—more than she had earned in her previous 23 LPGA Tour starts combined. She had missed the cut in four of her seven starts this year and her biggest previous check was just over $11,000 for a 26th-place tie at the Corona Championship.

Yi closed with an even-par 71 and Pressel had a 67.

Michelle Wie had a career-best 64 to tie for third at 16 under, but lost a chance to put extra pressure on the leaders when she misfired while going for the par-5 18th in two and had to settle for a par.

She still carded six birdies on the back nine and earned $73,224 to run her season total in 11 events to $425,184. It was her fifth top-10 finish.

On the playoff hole, the 18th, both Yi and Pressel were in the fairway inside 100 yards away in two. Pressel's approach came up short to the back left pin location, ending up on the first cut of rough about 20 feet from the hole. Yi hit a lower, harder shot that stopped 10 feet away.

Pressel's birdie putt held the line and almost fell as it scooted past on the left edge. She then tapped in for par.

 

Kaymer takes French

Germany's Martin Kaymer won the French Open, beating England's Lee Westwood with an 18-foot par putt on the first hole of a playoff.

In the playoff on the par-4 18th, Westwood's approach shot found the water, leading to double bogey.