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Putting Determined the US Women`s Open Title

Posted June. 04, 2001 10:51,   


``Putt for the doe, drive for the show.`` A common saying was proved again in the final round of the U.S. Women`s Open Championship (total prize of $290 million), which was held at the Southern Pine Needles Golf Club (par 70), Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Although Pak Se-Ri (Samsung) has overwhelmed Karrie Webb (Australia) with the massive driver shots in most holes, Pak failed to recapture the title as she was demoralized by Webb`s bewitching putting performance.

Both players recorded the same landing ratio on the green (61 percent). Coincidentally, two players also tied the first place in the average landing ratio on the green (71 percent) in the four rounds. The match was determined by the putting in the same condition.

Pak made the 31 puttings in the final round, higher than Webb`s (27). Karrie Webb had recorded a five-under-par 65 without a bogey, mastering the tricky convex greens with 26 puttings (1.44 per hole) in the second round. And as she maintained the leader board with the accurate putting in the third and final rounds, she finally secured the victory recording a seven-under-par 273 in total. She was the only player who recorded the under par, and won the prize of $520,000, that is the biggest prize in LPGA history.

Karrie Webb and Pak Se-Ri recorded respectively the average putting of 27 and 31 through four rounds. The total stroke differential between two players (8) is identical with the putting differential.

The importance of the putting was also evident in the 18th hole in the final round. If Pak failed to make a par-putting of 3m length, she would finish the tournament tying the second place with Dottie Pepper (U.S.). But she succeeded to make a putt concentrating all her energy (one-over-par 281 in total), so that she could win the prize of $310,000 granted to the second place winner. The amount is almost identical with the prize money for the winner of two tournaments, whose total prize money is $1 million.

If Pak tied with Pepper, Pak would have won just $ 256,290, that is the half of the combined prize money of the second and the third place winners. Pak could keep the prize money of 70 million won with just one putt. And with this precious putt, Pak moved up to the second place ($757,431) in the total prize ranking over Dottie Pepper ($668,456). Now she expects to breakthrough the total prize $1 million for one season for the first time since her debut in the LPGA in 1997.

Meanwhile, Kim Mi-Hyun (KTF) tied in the 26th place (with a 10-over-par 290 in total), and Grace Park tied in 39th place (with a 13-over-par 293 in total).

Ahn Young-Sik ysahn@donga.com