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Kim Mi-Hyun, Good Start

Posted June. 01, 2001 11:26,   


``The dark horse of this tournament would be Kim Mi-Hyun who has the merit with the fairway woods, when considering the characteristic of the course,`` told Jane Crafter, a TV commentator of the 56th U.S. Women`s Open (total prize of 290 million), in an interview just before the opening of the tournament. She took the long length of the course (par 70, 6256 yard) into consideration.

Will her guess turn out to be true?

Kim Mi-Hyun (24, KTF) made a run up the leader board with a two-under-par 68, tying the third place with Jill McGill and Juli Inkster among 150 participants, at the first round of the 56th U. S. Women`s Open which was held at the Pine Needles Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Kim finished the front nine at even par with the tedious par parade after missing the birdie putting in the first and second holes. But she caught her first birdie in the tenth hole (par 5), and dropped the consecutive birdies in the eleventh and twelfth holes.

Kim made a bogey in the 15th hole (par 4) with three on and two puts, due to a cramp in the leg. But as she safely saved a par in the 17th hole, the most difficult hole in the course, she recovered the confidence.

The 17th hole is the toughest course for the female golfers with par4, 429 yard. Considering that two par-5 holes in the Pine Needles Golf Club, the first and the tenth holes are respectively 481 yard and 451 yard, the par in the 17th hole is comparable to a birdie.

Kim Mi-Hyun expressed her strong volition to win the title in an official interview, saying that ``The course management to control the score in the difficult hole was effective. I promised my mother that I would not marry before landing on a top at the U. S. Women`s Open.``

Meanwhile, Pak Se-Ri ran up the co-leader recording the birdies on the holes 10 (par 5) and 12 (par 4), but made a bogey in the problematic 17th hole. She finished the first round with a one-under-par 69, tying her in the sixth place.

Pak expressed the confidence, saying that ``I was satisfied with both my play and the course. If I keep the present condition through the final round, I will obtain a good result in this tournament.``

Sorenstam, who played with Pak in the same group, made a double bogey in the 14th hole (par 4), tied the tenth place with 13 players including a defending champion Karrie Webb(Australia), and Pearl Shin at even par.

Ahn Young-Sik ysahn@dong.com